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When Citizens Fight Back – Are We Training Wrong??

I subscribe to many industry periodicals and recently came across an article entitled “When Citizens Fight Back – Are We Training Wrong?”
It’s about a well-known instructor and training school and what he’s seen over 25 years and thousands of students.

64 of his students (those who mentioned being in an incident) have been involved in self-defensive handgun use. Of these ordinary citizens:

  • Most were white collar professionals with careers in sales, management, IT work, the medical field or other professions.
  • Most incidents involved armed robbery of the type such as business stickups, parking lot robberies at gunpoint, carjacking’s and home invasions — all crimes likely to get you killed.
  • The armed robberies occurred at anywhere from two or three steps, to roughly the length of a car — That is about three to seven yards typically, or say 9′ to 21′ or so. This is the distance at which most of my students have had to use their guns. Lessons learned: we should do the bulk of our training and practice at these “most likely” distances.
  • Only two of the students’ shootings occurred at contact distance but this was because the victim missed a large number of cues before he was struck with a club.
  • He’s had three students who have had to engage at 15, 17 and 22 yards. The other 92 percent of his student-involved incidents took place at a distance of 3 to 7 yards, with the majority occurring between 3 and 5 yards. The rule of thumb then is most civilian shootings occur within the length of a car.
  • Only about 10 percent of his student-involved incidents occurred in or around the home, while 90 percent occurred in places like convenience stores, parking lots and shopping malls. The majority of the incidents began as armed robberies or carjacking’s, with a few violent break-ins involved.
  • The success/failure tally among the incidents involving his students is 62 wins, zero losses and two forfeits. Every one of his students who were armed won their confrontation. Only three of those were injured, and those three recovered. Two people had gone through training with him and subsequently were murdered in separate street robberies — but neither was armed. This is why he puts a great deal of emphasis in the necessity of routinely carrying your gun.

Key skills the private citizen should concentrate on in their training are:

  • Quick, safe, efficient presentation of the handgun from concealed carry.
  • Delivery of several well-placed shots at distances from 3 to 7 yards.
  • Keeping the gun running, including reloading and fixing malfunctions.
  • Two-handed firing. We train our students to use two hands if at all possible and most have done so in their fights.
  • Bring the gun to eye level. This is the fastest way to achieve accurate gun alignment. All but two of our students brought the gun to eye level, and as a result got good hits. Two had to shoot from below eye level due to unusual circumstances.

One of the things stressed in Tom’s training is the likelihood of your needing a gun in self-defense…It is NOT a one in one million chance. The possibility of you encountering a deadly force incident is much higher than even a decade ago. For statistical purposes violent crime consists of murder, aggravated assault, forcible rape and robbery. These are the very crimes one would carry a handgun to defend against.

Also, the police will very likely not be there when you are chosen to be the victim of one of those serious crimes. You are actually the first responder.
You should make carrying your handgun part of your daily routine which will go a long way toward making you and your family safer.

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