Do you think about your children when you consider how you’d respond to an armed robber? If you’re a parent, you MUST include planning with your children in mind about your response to an armed robber or other attacker.
What does this father teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robber, especially with children around?
- Parents must consider their children in their defensive plan, be it against an armed robber or any other attacker as well. The younger the child, the more the parent(s) must consider how holding or dragging their child will affect their ability to protect both of them. Naturally, the more children you have the more you’ll be constrained in retreat or running, and the more you’ll have to “stick your foot in the ground” and defend yourself without retreat. Thankfully the father knew what to do with his child when the armed robber launched the attack!
- If you have spiritual fitness by knowing what you’re willing to fight for and that you’re willing and ready to win the fight no matter what, you place yourself way ahead of almost any armed robber. Attackers are looking for victims and not looking for fights, so many times when an intended victim puts up a significant fight they will disengage and find other prey. This makes sense even in the animal kingdom where we often see an apex predator disengage from feisty prey for fear of injury. Being ready to defend yourself is a key in self-defense because that defense will often cause the armed robber to run. This is part of why spiritual fitness is so important to self-defense.
- In the moment an armed robber attacks you, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. It is strongly possible that the moment of the attack is not that moment. You want to wait for the time that the armed robber is not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself. Notice that the father waited until he could seize the initiative to fight the armed robber effectively.
- Marksmanship matters! The old saying is quite true: you can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight. As a self-defender you need to practice and train to put your first shot on target as fast as you can, but the key is to put as many shots on target as possible. Usually the first person to put shots on target wins the gunfight. (not always, but usually) So putting the first shot on target every time and quickly is imperative. The father put his first volley of shots on target in the armed robber and ended the threat, and that is what our intent must always be!
- It is very easy in a deadly force encounter to get tunnel vision and forget that there might be additional threats nearby. That can be a deadly mistake to make! Make sure to break that focus on the immediate threat once it’s been sufficiently stopped and LOOK for any trailing accomplices or additional threats that might be coming your way. Once the first armed robber was in retreat, the father here started looking for more threats.
- If you have a spouse or significant other who isn’t a self-defender, it’s very important to teach them what their responsibility is if you ever have to use your firearm to defend you both against an armed robber or other attacker. The same holds true for children or elderly parents or anyone who you are around a lot who doesn’t practice ASP at all. My wife and kids know that if they see my firearm at all they need to get DOWN and, if possible, get away from me because I am about to draw fire. In the car they know to get low. Obviously a baby can’t be taught, but your spouse can!
- While a two-handed draw from concealment is faster and usually more accurate, there will be plenty of times when one hand is occupied or otherwise unable to assist with the draw. This might be because it’s engaged with your attacker, because you’re holding a child or protecting your loved ones with it, or because it’s injured or out of the fight somehow. Knowing how to draw your firearm with one hand, wherever it is carried, is an important skill for those instances! The father had to get his child into his support arm and then draw his firearm one-handed to use it against this armed robber.
- Your firearm will only come out when it’s the worst day of your life, so make sure that you can draw that firearm quickly and reliably. Vet your carry position so that you know without a doubt that you can get a full firing grip and get the gun out of the holster and into the fight without fail should an armed robber or other attacker threaten you. If you have to fumble to get the correct grip on the gun, change your carry setup until you can. Then train and practice until you can’t get it wrong. As the old saying goes, in a gunfight you have the rest of your life to get your gun in the fight, so get good at it.