One of the concepts I stress to my classes is that having a sound self-defense strategy is a must. This sound self-defense strategy should include but is not limited to a good understanding of how your self-defense firearm works. This means being very familiar with all the functions of your gun (manual of arms). I can’t tell you how many times I have asked a student to pick a gun up and show me that it’s safe and unloaded and they struggle with the functions of their own gun. Like not knowing that on the firearm they own the slide can’t be moved with the safety on! Good gun handling and gun safety are skills I teach many people and hopefully, when they go home they practice these skills so that they become a good safe gun handler.
Awareness is an important part of the equation. If you do not know what’s happening around you how will you try to avoid it or deal with it? Avoidance is a great tool and may save your life and the lives of others who you are responsible for. I’m not talking about paranoia I’m talking about being alert (color codes of awareness).
The next step is marksmanship and a smooth, safe presentation of the gun. Most people in the industry agree that you should strive to be somewhere below 1.5 seconds on a smooth presentation and be able to put shots on target. Draw from the holster takes practice and to do it correctly and safely takes some good form (how to draw from the holster). Marksmanship is a skill that must be practiced. You should be able to consistently put shots on an 8-inch circle at 21 feet. Dry firing can help you to gain both of these skills and you should have a short and frequent practice session with your concealed carry firearm. Remember that with practice you gain speed from being smooth and you gain confidence from the repetition of doing it right. many encounters in self-defense happen in less than 10ft. 1.5 seconds in this arena will probably be a bad day for you and your family. Reaction never beats action. If someone has a firearm pointed at you you’re not going to be able to outdraw them.
Then comes the legal strategy. You have to drive the narrative (the story). Being a fan of Andrew Branca I have learned a few basic concepts of the laws of self-defense. two things that come to mind is that the 5 elements of self-defense should be understood and you should read as much as you can about these 5 elements (from Andrew’s Book) and from articles that are written by industry leaders. The next thing is to have an idea of how you are going to deal with the 911 call and the first responders at the scene. Andrew has an approach which he thinks is optimal but he states on many occasions that in the heat of the moment people might get lost in what to do or say. Many times when people are put under severe pressure or stress they forget what to do or say. That’s why just like in gun training you need to train yourself in these concepts so they are a habit. Make it how you think, it’s who you are, because you understand the concepts and why they are important to your sound self-defense strategy.
So here they are. Are you weak in any of these areas if so take a section and work on it? The fortunate thing is that self-defense shootings are rare. This means you likely will have time to get better. Don’t be complacent get a strategy to work on your areas of weakness.
Manual Of Arms
Presentation Of The Firearm
Do you understand these concepts? If not do some homework and figure out how they apply to your self-defense strategy. These are terms that intertwine the legal strategy and are important concepts to understand. Be careful of your sources, there are many who do not understand these concepts, and internet information can be slanted. I have information on all these topics. Let me know and I can supply it for you or direct you to a good source.
Disparity of force
Stand your Ground
Duty to Retreat