We are hearing more and more about “Good guy with a gun saves the day”, as it should be, but what many of those articles lack is context to just how fast those “shoot outs” actually happen. In the below video, two Palestine (Texas) law enforcement officers apprehend a suspect inside the bathroom of an Applebee’s restaurant and escort him outside.
As the body cam reveals, the suspect drew a weapon as they walked outside, surprising both Officer Kaylyn Griffin and Sergeant Gabriel Green. In that split second (you only have a few seconds to decide) Sergeant Green drew his firearm and fired. The resulting action left 47 year-old James Bushey dead from multiple gunshot wounds. His weapon was later found to be a pellet-gun made to resemble a 9mm Beretta 92FS. Although many are calling this “suicide by cop”, that fact of the matter is; THESE INCIDENCES OCCUR IN SECONDS.
As a concealed carrier, do you really have any idea how fast these situations escalate? Do you understand the duress that is placed on mind and body during these high periods of stress? Most people do not have a clue as to what they can expect during these high-stress situations.
As a firefighter/EMT I have found myself under a great deal of stress, from accident scenes, house and building fires, hostile environments as well as having a gun and knife pulled on me while rendering aid. Those situations have prepared me for what I can expect mentally and physically. Fortunately a firearm was not needed to prevent harm during each of my personal experiences, as I have some self-defense training in hand-to-hand type combat, but what if that hadn’t been enough?
In the Palestine, Texas shooting, fortunately for everyone involved (other than a man who must’ve wanted to die), everyone came out safe, thanks to the training and mental preparedness of one officer. But, can you honestly say you, as a concealed carrier, would have faired as well? If the answer is no, or you are unsure, then maybe you need to take a little more time figuring out why.
In this next instance we see that a happy couple, out-of-town on a dream vacation, traveling along old Route 66 in New Mexico, ended that vacation in a deadly shootout.
Former CNN reporter Lynne Russell and her husband Chuck de Caro decided to stop for the night after dinner with friends, choosing a Motel 6 because they allowed dogs. As Russell returned to the room, after fetching something from their car, a man forced her into the room and demanded money.
Her husband de Caro was just stepping from the shower, when the man pushed her onto the bed, and walking out of the bathroom, dripping wet and naked, the man demanded their money. Thankfully, both Russell and de Caro were concealed carriers with both of their weapons stowed in one of the drawers.
Russell was able to slip one of the handguns from the drawer into her purse and handed the purse to her husband, as the scene escalated, the man opened fired on de Caro. He retrieved one of the firearms and began shooting. Emptying the first into the man, retrieved the second handgun and put the “mongrel” down, although he did not get away unscathed.
Chuck de Caro received one gunshot wound to the leg and two wounds to the abdomen during the altercation, but has since recovered. Of course no charges were filed in this instance, but the outcome could’ve been much different if they had not been carrying, aware of their situation and able to respond. Even with his years of experience and training in the military as a special forces “operator”, he still needed two fully loaded handguns to dispatch the man.
As we can see from both of these instances, everything happens in seconds, or sometimes even fractions of seconds. It is during these first few seconds that the outcome of the altercation has already been determined. As the saying goes; He who hesitates, shall not participate.
Are you ready? Have you practiced drawing from your concealed carry position? Have you practiced drawing from inside your car? Sitting down? Squating? Bent over? Have you practiced when it’s raining? When you’re sweating? After you’ve worked out and are tired? Are you always conscious of your surroundings? Do you carry a knife? What type do you carry? Can you really use it to defend yourself? Have you taken a hand-to-hand self-defense course?
These are questions you have to ask yourself, and be honest. If you have never been in a high stress situation, never stared down the barrel of a gun or had someone pull a knife on you, then you may not have the reaction time it takes to defend yourself or your loved ones properly. I understand that many have never, and may never find themselves in those situations (God, I hope that is the case), but what can you do to prepare for them?
Force on Force training with simulated ammunition is as close to the “real” thing as you will ever get. I have trained quite extensively with this type of training, and I can attest to the fact that it will get your adrenaline pumping to the point that “fine” motor skills will be affected. Heart rate and breathing will be elevated, and you will feel fear, uncertainty and confusion.
I will say that finding the “right” instructor is paramount to success in this type of training. My personal instructor, Robbie Allmon from Parallax Security, is without a doubt one of the finest instructors in his field, with military and law enforcement training as well as self-defense skills. Robbie’s training program is from the ground up the best, most well-rounded program I’ve experienced and I highly recommend him to everyone I know.
So, I ask you once again; Are you ready? If you cannot say that with the utmost confidence, then I suggest you find an instructor like Robbie Allmon, who can take you through real-life scenarios, provide counseling on your performance and suggestions and tips to prepare you for what “might” be in your future as a concealed carrier.
We can all “Gun Up and Carry” as it is our 2nd Amendment right to do so, but being prepared to properly use that weapon in defense of your life, brings up many issues that need to be addressed before the need arises.
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef.
Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak.
“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air.” ~ John Quincy Adams