24 October 2013

What if it is not deadly force?

This past weekend I was attending the International Chiefs of Police Conference in Philadelphia for a meeting with Kahr Arms.  The above picture was taken as I approached my car, two stories below ground underneath the Wannamaker Building.  It was 2 PM, and the place was deserted.  The only sound was my footsteps as they echoed off the walls.  I was all alone.  Since it is in the heart of the city and it was gorgeous out, I passed many homeless people, many of which were obviously mentally ill, or on drugs.  Many asked for money, many more just sat talking to themselves as they rocked back and forth.

Of course I was suitably armed with a Taurus Model 85 UL, and had a speed strip in my strong side front pocket.  What struck me besides the eeriness of the garage, was the amount of blind spots and hiding areas.  It would have been very easy to stumble upon someone doing something they did not want anyone to see, or be approached by one of the street people who could have accessed the unsecured garage.  

Sometimes when I say fantasy I am being sarcastic and other times I am simply talking about the when/then day dreams we have instead of other nightmares about if/then.  For people that are serious about the defensive use of a handgun, it can become the base of a personal protection plan instead of tip.

All in all, relatively few violent crimes end in death for the good guy or the bad guy.  For the average sheep, it is a matter of not fighting back.  For the Sheepdog, it is a matter of not feeling justified in using deadly force.  If your fantasies include a white guy in a dark hoodie and jeans armed with a tire iron ignoring your verbal commands and walking towards you Jason style, you are probably not being very realistic.

The OH SHIT part of real life situations can be pretty hard to replicate even by those who do their best.  Take for instance, I have never done a use of force scenario where I was walking alone in a subterranean garage, with a bag over my shoulder, another one in my hand, and suit on a hanger in the other.  My arms hurt like hell from carrying everything the four blocks from the hotel, and I was annoyed searching for where the hell I was supposed to pay.  These are exactly the times when bad things happen to good people.

As I said, I was all alone and there was no cell signal.  Had I become involved in an altercation, I would have had to do whatever I had to do to survive.  At the very far end of that is drawing my pistol, much less firing it.  First, we have open hand combatives using the mechanical advantage of a pen or flashlight, since in MCS we do the same techniques with impact and edged weapons in our hands as we do open handed.  These things allow a bridge to get you out of the situation or to get you to a higher force option.

Remember, AWARENESS, AVOIDANCE, and AGGRESSION, and if you are thinking to yourself  "man this would be a shitty time for X to happen", consider what you would do if it did.

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