Taking responsibility for the safety my loved ones and property is something I think is incredibly important. If the day ever comes (and I hope it does not) where my family faces a violent threat, I will not be satisfied with calling 911 and hoping that help arrives. Hope is not a strategy- my employer would fire me if I tried to pass off hope as a way to accomplish business goals. Isn't this immeasurably more important than a job?
Looking around this site will demonstrate my devotion to training for excellence. A CCW class is a good start but does not take you far enough to make you a hard target (one that is resistant to attack and does not present weaknesses that can easily be exploited). Situational awareness helps – remember that a violent threat is a predator and no different than a wolf, hyena or jackal you see stalking prey on a nature documentary- telegraphing weakness or a lack of vigilance is an invitation for trouble. What does all this babble have to do with training? You must train how you will fight because in a life-threatening situation you will fight how you train– that's what the top-flight warriors say anyway.
Recently I ran across a brochure from Beretta- 10 CCW tips. It's pretty good fare- no surprise that its a Beretta subcompact fashion show- but there is a notion in this flyer here that I disagree with and I think it's important to share:
Tip 10 in the Beretta brochure nearly made me spit out my coffee:
10. Closing to Engage a Threat
The beginning of this tip sheet does set the focus of this conversation on small-caliber subcompact calibers: .25acp, .380 and the like and in this case their point is valid. 7yds is about as far as you should trust using one of these guns for self-defense. FBI statistics and revised agent training requirements suggest that's all you need. Although 7yds may not be enough if you have to engage a threat in a movie theater (think Aurora).
TRAINING TIP: When you train to draw from concealment also practice saying/ yelling a SHTF phrase. A popular one is “he's got a gun!” But I prefer “Somebody call 911!”. Hopefully a couple things happen if I do this: 1. Someone calls 911 to get law enforcement headed your way; 2. You identify yourself as a good guy, or at least not the bad guy- hopefully to the 911 caller who reports the incident.
What else is implied by this limitation? Effective range and stopping power go hand in hand. This is exactly why I carry a .40 subcompact. If I need to use my gun I want to send the most stopping power possible towards the threat. Under this sort of stress the average person is not going to react perfectly. That's another reason I will gladly take the extra stopping power- a less than perfect hit might be enough to stop the fight, whereas a less than perfect hit from a .25 might not be.
It's also crazy to suggest getting closer to a threat in order to engage. I train to move away and at a slight lateral angle to accomplish two things: put distance between the threat and me and make myself a more difficult target. The majority of the time I think this will end up to my advantage. That also indicates that the gun falls short of effective stopping power. Something is always better than nothing- if your situation calls for the extra concealability of an LCP or a PX4 other mouse gun then definitely carry it. Also be sure to train to effectively use it.