Active Assailant Response: Plan to Survive, by J.M.

Introduction

Your personal safety, along with that of your family or your extended group of like-minded individuals, is probably a top priority for you. As a self-prepared individual, this is part of your nature. You are committed to ensuring the security of those you care about, not only in your normal day-to-day activities, but also in preparation for an unanticipated threat.

Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, an unexpected incident may include an attack on your place of work or a public setting you happen to be in at the wrong time. With the riots and looting taking place in so many of our cities, it’s not hard to imagine these vicious behaviors degenerating in the near future to include the use of more advanced weapons to carry out a widescale attack.

Although hopefully unlikely, such attacks are indeed possible, including one involving an active assailant or shooter. Preparing for one is an important step in defending yourself and those who depend on you. This requires you to stay aware, have a plan in place, and know when to run, hide, or fight. This article addresses actions and responses you can take to protect your life and the lives of others in case of an active assailant situation.

Stay Aware

Readers of this website are more cognizant than most people about the evil that men are capable of inflicting on the weak and unwary. As a precaution against such depravity, we’re all responsible for taking certain steps to make our homes, property, and personal workplaces as secure as possible. If this isn’t something you’ve already done, now is the time to act. There can be no more delay.

As an individual you have an important role to play. The first step to staying safe is being prepared and aware. Throughout the course of your day, it’s important to trust your instincts if something looks or feels wrong. Recognizing early signs of trouble may help to prevent a potential attack.

Being inattentive or indifferent to your environment is a dangerous mindset. Even the most experienced people can become complacent, especially when doing tasks that have become routine. To overcome this tendency, you should deliberately and consistently use situational awareness to be alert to any potential threat so you can react without being taken by surprise.

Color Codes of Awareness

Situational awareness is the conscious decision to be aware of your surroundings and the activities taking place within it. It is an important behavior to practice as you go about your day. Use your senses to look and listen for anything out of the ordinary. This doesn’t mean being paranoid or having an irrational fear. Instead, you simply maintain a general alertness that helps prevent you from being surprised by the unexpected actions of another person. You are relaxed, but remain aware of the people, sights, and sounds around you, better enabling you to more quickly recognize unusual behavior and potential threats. Because you’re alert and aware, if an attack or emergency suddenly arises, it should not take you completely by surprise.

Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper (founder of the American Pistol Institute, which later became Gunsite) developed his well-known color code to define one’s state of mind and willingness to act during the different levels of situational awareness. (This is not to be confused with the government’s color code that corresponds to the amount of danger it believes exists at that moment in time.)I advise you to research Cooper’s color code and make it a part of your daily behavior. I’ve summarized/paraphrased Cooper’s own words below to offer a brief overview.

White I am not thinking about my safety or surroundings at all.

In condition white, you’re unaware and unprepared. If attacked in this state, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy and ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty your reaction will probably be, “This can’t be happening to me!”

Yellow I may have to defend myself at some point today.

In condition yellow, you’re in a state of relaxed alertness. There is no specific threat, but you are prepared to react quickly to any danger that might arise. You use your eyes and ears, and your body language shows that you’re alert. When confronted by something nasty your reaction will probably be, “I thought this might happen someday, and I know what to do.”

Orange I may have to defend myself from this specific threat that I am now oriented on.

In condition orange, something not quite right has gotten your attention and you shift your primary focus to it. Something is “wrong” with a person or object. Something may happen. You have decided that you may need to take immediate and decisive action. You set up mental triggers such as “If he does this, I will do that.” Or “If that happens, I will do this.”

Red I am now preparing to take (or am taking) immediate action against this threat to me.

In condition red, you have made the decision to act if the mental trigger from condition orange is tripped. You are no longer considering your options; you already have decided what you’ll do. When the moment comes, you will act with deliberate aggression immediately, either to attack the threat, evade it, or perform whatever action you’ve resolved to do.

Have a Plan in Place

While situational awareness can alert you to danger, it can’t always stop an unpredictable threat from becoming reality. When startled or scared, the natural human reaction is to freeze, leaving you vulnerable to an attack. But if you’ve made a plan of action, you can overcome this tendency to freeze. Your survival may depend on it.

The plan doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. It just requires considering your options and deciding in advance what you will do when faced with certain conditions. Depending on what’s happening, the appropriate action may be to run, hide, or fight. When deciding what to do, remember that your safety – and the safety of those depending on you to protect them – comes first.

Run!

If there is an attack, your best option may be to evacuate the immediate area if it’s safe to do so, moving with speed and purpose to a safe area where you can make a plan to fight back or continue escaping the threat. Plan in advance by identifying primary and alternate evacuation routes you can use if you need to run. As you go about your day, imagine what your escape route would be from the areas you most commonly live or work in. In public places, take note of the locations of the doors, emergency exits, or other avenues of egress.

If you ever need to flee, you’ll be a step ahead if you’ve already identified which path to take. If you decide to run, let other people know there’s an attack taking place and encourage them to escape with you. Once you’re in a safe place, call 911 and try to prevent other people from entering any dangerous areas.

Hide

If you can’t safely escape the vicinity of the threat, consider finding a place to hide if you have the opportunity to do so. Locate a secure room or conceal yourself behind large objects. Act quickly and quietly. Try to protect your hiding place the best you can. Turn out the lights, and lock and barricade the doors. Call 911 and silence your electronic devices. Remaining quiet and out of sight makes it less likely you’ll be noticed and targeted.

As part of your plan, practice reaching shelter locations that you’ve identified in different areas of your home or workplace. Determine if there is anything that hinders your access. Rehearse this regularly. During an emergency is not the time to test your plan.

Fight

In some circumstances, you may have no choice except to fight. If no alternative exists, fight the attacker with all your strength. Commit to action and act with aggression. Use the tool most appropriate to the situation that you possess and are capable of using effectively. For many, this will be a firearm, knife, or self-defense weapon. Do what is needed to survive, and don’t stop until the assailant is incapacitated.

Interactions with Law Enforcement 

When authorities arrive at the scene of a widescale attack, they likely will not know who the assailant is. Anyone can be considered a threat so don’t make sudden movements or rush towards the police unless you want to risk being shot. Instead, stay put, keep your hands in plain sight, and follow the instructions of law enforcement. If you have any information about the number of assailants, their location, or a physical description, tell them. Be aware that the first responding officers will not treat the injured or begin evacuation until the threat is neutralized.

Depending on your environment and the attitude of your local law enforcement community, it may be helpful to build personal relationships and an open line of communication with public safety before an emergency arises. Law enforcement also may be willing to come to your workplace to help draft an active assailant response plan or to offer training.

In Closing

Although an active assailant situation or widescale attack may seem remote and we all strive to prevent one from happening, we must always consider it a possibility. Remember to practice situational awareness as part of your daily routine. Be prepared with a plan so if an attack occurs, you can decide whether to run, hide, or fight. With the right mindset and a plan in place, you will be much more likely to avoid or survive a violent attack.




29 Comments

  1. An excellent article, JM! The importance of situational awareness cannot be underestimated.

    …and I would add this: beware of “natural” and “normal” or “typical” responses.

    Here’s a great example that comes from a terrible attempted parking lot robbery followed by an attempted hotel room invasion my husband and I endured on a Sunday evening in what was otherwise a delightful historic town, and charming part of Americana.

    After we locked ourselves inside our hotel room, a strange knock came at the door. It wasn’t a deliberate knocking sound, but instead a little “sloppy” if that makes any sense. We have come to call it a “curiosity knock” because we are sure it was intended to tempt our curiosity such that we would simply open the door.

    What is remarkable is how easy it would have been to do just that — although we did not — and THANK GOD we didn’t.

    The normalized response upon hearing a knock at the door is to open it — and this “normalized response” leaves people vulnerable to acing as if operating on “auto pilot”. How many people have found themselves in harrowing circumstances for having done the usual thing, taken the usual action — having opened the door at the sound of a knock?

    There was another time (many, many years before) when a knock at the door could have ended quite differently for me, and for my family. On this day — living in a lovely home with a beautifully manicured yard in a major metropolitan area — I was homeschooling our youngest son. Our community had no solicitation signs, but those did not stop this fellow who came to our door — and knocked. I got up from the table, went to the door, and responded in the ways I believed were courteous and appropriate — and according to the culture in which I was raised. I opened the door.

    On the other side of the door was a fellow neatly dressed, hair cut, and clean shaven. He began to talk with me about sales he was making related to some kind of personal fundraiser (although the story he gave seemed a little odd to me — not terribly off, but off “just enough”). I thanked him for stopping by, but shared that I was in the middle of home school lessons, and had to return to those. It was clear that he did not want to close the conversation.

    It wasn’t long before he was trying to look beyond the threshold of the door and into our home. I am sure he wanted to know who or how many might be inside the house (just my youngest son and I — or others too). He really had to work at this too because the door was open just a wee-bit, and my right foot was casually braced behind it should I need to try to prevent a forced entry.

    It was bold on his part. In order to lean in and look around, this character had to cross well into what would customarily be considered an appropriate degree of personal space between us. When people do this, it’s generally a sign that they are willing to cross all kinds of boundaries.

    Truth be told — I was increasingly concerned with each passing moment. I knew he was intent on forcing his way into our home.

    Quite suddenly, our oldest son came bounding down the stairs. He had returned from the university for time at home with us, and there he was. Standing 6′ 6″ tall, and coming down the stairs at quite the clip, the man standing on the other side of my door concluded quickly that our conversation had come to a conclusion. He departed with speed — to where I am not sure because I immediately secured the door and called my husband. I never saw his vehicle which had not been parked outside my driveway or anywhere in our cul-de-sac.

    I have seen some of the more difficult and dangerous sides of human behavior, and have been in some harrowing situations — some far worse than others. This particular experience was certainly among the less dangerous of those — but certainly dangerous enough to convey important lessons about personal safety and security. I share these along the way with the SB community in the hopes that what can be learned from these experiences will help protect and keep others safe.

    When you hear a knock at the door, pause and consider whether or not it’s wise to open the gateway to your home to the person on the other side!

    1. Great advice.
      Also – when you get an unexpected knock at the door – if possible – remember to always check all of the other sectors outside of your home – a more skilled team will use the knock to take the primary defender of the home to the desired area, (the front door, in this case) and then breach some other area of the home.

      Same principle as when you hear the scream, or the bang, or the commotion – actually scan all other sectors first….. then the one with the known action.

      Don’t be afraid to be assertive to unsolicited sales folks. A firm, “no thank you, have a nice day” and close the door is always a good option.

      Remember – they are uninvited – and you have no obligation to someone trying to sell you something.

  2. I had Active Shooter training at work last Fall. They gave a full auto airsoft type rifle to a person who had never shot a gun before, while the rest of us hid in a large conference room. She killed about half of us in thirty seconds. Then, they trained us how to fight back, with her out of the room. When she came back, she was stopped and overwhelmed at the door. Getting out of the danger zone is always the best alternative.

    Sadly, about a third of the employees decided not to attend the training, subsequent sessions, view a video on the subject, or even talk about it. They just didn’t want to think about it.

    We later had a stop the bleed class, with the same number attending.

    I didn’t think I would, but I actually learned a few things from both classes and am glad I attended…

    Of course, this was for a gun free zone facility. Being armed would make things a lot easier and exponentially increase chances of a successful outcome. There is nothing desirable about bringing bare hands, or fire extinguishers to a gunfight…

    Great article, thanks for posting.

  3. The best product for everyday home protection is a steel/metal security door. When opening the front door there is a barrier between you and the visitor. A perforated metal screen can be added as an option; it greatly reduces an intruders access to the interior door lock.

    Home Depot, Lowe’s etc… sells this product and they are attractive as well as robust. Quality and prices vary. Don’t answer the front door without it.

    1. We have purchased a security door as well… It was an expensive investment (in addition to and to be installed in front of the entryway door), but we believe well worth the purchase price.

  4. Living in Baghdad in 2005 was about the best training in situational awareness you could ask for. Nothing like getting shot at, watching other people getting shot or blown up, or waking up to the sound of explosions and the guard whistle to get you right to Cooper’s condition red. Trouble is, it is hard to sustain it for long.

  5. “Sadly, about a third of the employees decided not to attend the training, subsequent sessions, view a video on the subject, or even talk about it. They just didn’t want to think about it.”

    It is vitally important for preppers/survivalist to understand how many people are temperamentally inclined to avoid difficult images. Such people would rather watch “Dancing with the Stars” than consider the ugly reality that might come to fruition in a world turned upside down by some national calamity. In “Gone with the Wind,” Scarlett O’Hara said, “I can’t think about it today. I will think about it tomorrow.” (In fact, it is unfair to judge Scarlett’s character by these words, as she had clearly demonstrated that she was a fighter.)

    This blog is a fine one, always the first one I read each day. A general failing of the average survival/prepper blog, however, is that, while it may be filled with all sorts of useful tips and survival information, it is unable to affect the reader’s mindset or world view. In the TV series, “Yellowstone,” I was struck by Kevin Costner’s line when he was talking about raising his grandson so that he was best prepared to deal with what life threw at him, “You can’t teach tough.” If a person’s idea of an hour’s entertainment is “Married at First Sight,” then “when the blast of war blows in our ears,” it will be nearly impossible for that person to “imitate the action of the tiger.”

    If you haven’t already done so, read Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s insightful essay, “On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs.” https://www.killology.com/sheep-wolves-and-sheepdogs. Knowing exactly in which category you and others around you fall is an important first step in increasing your chances of surviving in a world where all of the usual rules of society no longer exist.

    1. a)
      re:
      ‘the usual rules of society no longer exist’

      Show of hands… during 2020 in these united states of America, how many are pretty sure the usual rules of society no longer exist?

      I see a lot written about ‘the new normal’.
      I suspect any expectations of ‘normal’ might include ‘constant continuous chaos’.

      Every interaction with any individual can ‘trigger’ a psychotic episode.
      Any rational reasonable person would immediately realize a psychotic’s choices could easily be suicidal, and yet, the episode continues beyond any expectations of ‘normal’ or ‘the rules of society’.

      b)
      After a visitor passes my steel gate — and it automatically latches with a loud clang behind them –their knock at my steel door requires a peek through a peephole on one of the two sidewalls deeply enclosing my entry atrium.
      I engineered my entry so visitors feel trapped… because they are.
      These days, I’m not much of a ‘people person’.

      1. You are exactly right about interactions triggering psychotic episodes. If you don’t know a person, you don’t know how they are going to react to anything. Polite and courteous are my guiding principles with anyone, until they give me a reason to change tactics. Another driver cuts me off on the roadway? Let it go unless they escalate it. Someone is rude in a store or public place? Let it go, unless it escalates. I will always remember the first time I carried a concealed firearm, how patient and polite I became. That same behavior sticks with me even today. Carrying a loaded weapon brought the responsiblity to act responsible, and to avoid having to use it unless threatened or fearful.

      2. Excellent planning about the peep hole, Marge. Matt Bracken was discussing the danger in using the conventional, center of the door peep hole a couple of weeks ago while livestreaming on YouTube. As soon as the bad guy sees the person checking on who is at his door, he can fire through it. Of course, most conventional doors, even those without a glass in them, won’t withstand a serious barrage of bullets at what the bad guy figures is center of mass, either.

        By coincidence, I just saw a movie this week where that is exactly what happens to a character who uses his peep hole.

        Fortunately for me, my house is configured with a nearby window that allows me to see anyone who is at my door before I open it.

        1. @ Survivormann99

          When I was an EMT years ago in a pretty dicey area(not in VT), we were trained to never stand in front of the door when we responded to a call. If we knocked we had to immediately jump to the side of the door in case they shot out through the door. This from the people who supposedly needed an ambulance…….

      3. In my state, it’s not only politics that’s the “third rail” of conversation. Any discussion of Covid, masks(pro or con), BLM, ANTIFA, etc. is enough to derail some folks. The ones who really get incensed if you have a different opinion than them tends to be the leftists. The only safe thing to talk about used to be the weather but now they immediately bring up climate change so even that’s out-of-bounds for conversation.

  6. In the words of Mosby, I want to curb stomp some sacred cows here regarding gun free zones.

    At one time I did work in a large building where most everyone was armed. The active shooter plan was largely “we’ll shoot them back”. Good right? Safest place in America. Except who are they going to shoot? People they don’t recognize with a gun out? It was a multi- story building with hundreds of workers, so that’s basically anyone from another floor. Also, what if the shooter is someone you do know, like Rick from accounting? Rick runs up to you and says the shooters are coming up the stairs, you lean out and then take one to the back of the skull. People decided to hold choke points, but with no individual radios there was no way to signal friend from foe. It would be the occupants vs other occupants vs shooters vs the SWAT team. The only way the plan would work was if the shooter(s) wore a neon yellow jersey that read I AM A TERRORIST.

    In short, I figured out really quickly I would be better off jumping out of a window and taking my chances learning to walk again than stay in that building. Some of you guys do carry at work/ worship, so please, please think about some of the implications if you actually had an incident.

    1. Actually, the plan should be to have the EMPLOYEES throw on neon yellow vests– on warning of attack over the public address system — to proclaim that they are NOT the terrorists.

      Old joke– good intentions are no substitute for knowing how to operate the chain saw.

  7. 1) Executive Protection operators go beyond just being alert. They not only look they know where to look and what to look for — and how to maneuver to make the enemy expose himself. The idea is that even the most stupid crook does some preliminary surveillance of the victim.
    2) People are often attacked when leaving their home. Look at your house — if you want to surveil your house and detect someone leaving, where would you establish an observation post? Are there any places where an attacker can hide?

    3) Surveillance detection can be done alone but is hard and unreliable. Far better to have one or more partners who can watch as you go through various chokepoints that force people following you to line up behind you. Bridge over a railroad track or river, for example. Same person shows up in multiple locations — bingo. There are several books with details — covering on foot, in vehicle, on public transportation, etc. Rural vs urban. “Surveillance Tradecraft” by Peter Jenkins, albeit with a UK flavor. The extinct Paladin Press had “Countersurveillance” by ACM IV Security Services.

    Online, there is the US Army’s Law Enforcement Investigations handbook (ATP 3-39.12). Chapter 5 (“Physical Surveillance” ) which covers the basic physical maneuvers but does not really address the dangerous threat from technical surveillance (video cams, bugs, computer hacks,etc.) Appendix B gives some idea of how information can be obtained from you electronic devices — works for hostile crooks just as much as it works for law enforcement. Chapter 6 (Undercover operations) gives an idea of how other people can be used against you.
    See

    4) To do countersurveillance you have to know how surveillance is done — plus sometimes your team needs to follow any hostiles you detect back to their home base and determine who they are in order to figure out how to deal with them/report them to the police.

    5) Executive Protection also looks at fortifying your home, taking multiple routes from your home to work, shopping etc , identifying likely vulnerable areas/attack zones along the routes, having preplanned immediate reactions to those attacks, knowing where safe areas (police, hospitals, highly crowded public areas) are at all times, etc.

  8. Excellent point.
    It’s not hard to put a rope, harness and some carabiners in your desk drawer.
    Also something with which to break a high rise window.
    Pretty easy actually. Don’t forget the leather gloves so you don’t burn your hands.

    1. That is exactly what I did when I was working on the 11th floor of the 400 Office Tower, at Oracle Corporation, back in 1999-2001. I kept a 150-foot hank of kernmantle climbing rope (along with a Swiss seat, and a Figure-of 8-descender) in a credenza and I even practiced tying it to a pillar near my desk.

      1. A most excellent idea, JWR! …although my husband and I confess that our first option is to AVOID any height from which we cannot safely jump. This is not an option for everyone, and your suggestion related to the tools of escape from a high-rise building are smart-smart-smart.

    2. I kept an emergency rope kit for years, on the 6th floor.

      There was a nice steel lattice beam above the ceiling tiles to attach to.

      Added this for windows and concrete block walls:

      Fiskars IsoCore 3 Pound Club Hammer, 11 Inch
      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CDAC2K0

      The hard part was leaving my colleagues behind…

      Eventually, I added a pulley, which might have worked for a group??? Never tested it and we had some very heavy folks…

      Some of you experienced rope folks might have a good recommendation on a pulley and rope.

  9. Good basic information here on a much more complex topic. A few points, if I may:

    Ideally, everyone should be moving seamlessly back and forth between Condition Yellow and Condition Orange. When you are out and enter a room, store, restaurant, etc., besides checking exits/routes, your eyes should be moving across everyone present (whenever possible, move only your eyes, not your head – the motion could draw unwanted attention), and determining if someone or something is “off”, and needs more scrutiny (moving to Condition Orange). Daily life moves in certain familiar patterns, and when something is “off”, it should immediately stand out to you, and draw your attention. A former 1st SFOD-D (The Unit/Delta Force) Commander wrote an excellent book about this very topic, titled “The Mission, the Men, and Me” by Pete Blaber. Once you constantly practice situational awareness properly, it is not a mental burden, and becomes an almost subconscious act. Careful consideration also must be given to other family members who may be with you. Do they know what to do/where to go if the shooting starts? Do you have a family plan?

    Fans of the film “Dune” may recognize the line “Fear is the mind killer” – this is true in real life, and even more so in high-stress situations (such as an active shooter event). Some believe there is also a Condition Black, which represents being overwhelmed by fear to the point of literal mental and physical paralysis. Fear will absolutely cloud your mind, and must be fought through and overcome in order to make prudent decisions quickly. Fear is usually what leads people to the “Hide” option. I have seen the uncensored security camera footage from Columbine (as well as from many other active shooter events), and can tell you that most of those who died chose to hide. They just stayed in place (frozen by fear), and waited to be shot/killed. Many of the victims bled out, due to how long it took law enforcement to enter and clear the buildings – EMTs cannot enter a scene until it has been declared safe by LE. This leads to my next point – you should ALWAYS have the proper medical supplies ON YOUR PERSON (your med kit does you no good if it is in the trunk of your vehicle, and your daughter has been shot and is on the floor of the mall in front of you). A few tourniquets, GSW kits, chest seals, etc. can easily be carried in a small sling bag, backpack or messenger bag.

    J.M. made a very important point regarding the “Fight” option. I won’t go into OODA Loop specifics here, but know that the “bad guys” have a plan in their head of how things are supposed to go, and it most likely doesn’t involve civilians being armed and shooting back immediately (just ask the perp in the Texas church shooting – oh wait, you can’t thanks to Mr. Jack Wilson’s quick and decisive action). You must respond without hesitation (keeping in mind as much as circumstances allow the safety of all innocent bystanders – know your target/foreground/background), and at least match, if not exceed the shooter’s level of violence. Every second he’s pressing that trigger, people are potentially dying.

    Do not get “tunnel vision” – a real world shooting is a 360 degree environment, so you must continue to check your 6 (and all other potential threat directions). Even though many of these events are carried out by a lone shooter, do not assume that is the case. During an active shooter incident inside a store a few years ago, a courageous man who was carrying a pistol was sneaking up on the shooter, and was just about to put him down, when the shooter’s girlfriend (who had been trailing back a ways, pushing a shopping cart to blend in) came up from behind and killed the heroic citizen. A costly lesson.

    If at all possible, train under realistic, high-stress conditions (many excellent instructors now offer active shooter courses). The more you do this, the better you will perform in real-world situations.

    “Train every day for the day that may never come.”

  10. Great article and great discussions! Thanks everyone for sharing all your ideas. If I may contribute two resources I have found to be excellent:

    1) Gavin de Becker’s book “The Gift of Fear.” He discusses how our intuitions, gut feelings, back-of-the-neck hairs and so forth are displays of what our subconscious minds are noticing and processing. We can usually tell when something is “off,” even if we can’t immediately articulate what exactly is amiss. He also relates some of his experiences with clients he has protected, and gives insight into the (usually diseased) minds of their assailants.

    2) Tim Larkin’s “Target Focus Training.” I’ve never attended the in-person classes, but I own and have studied all of the home materials. After the first time I was assaulted, I resolved NEVER AGAIN. This course would not have helped me then, as I was under general anesthesia at the time, but it did help change my mindset about being a “victim” and help replace some of the crippling fear with my own agency. Just a few takeaways:
    –The difference between anti-social and asocial behavior. An anti-social person is behaving negatively or rudely or even destructively, but still within the context of social relations, and is often trying to modify another’s behavior (even with force). An asocial person does not see others as people at all, but as tools or hindrances; s/he feels no empathy, and does not care how others feel or act.
    –The gun, knife, etc is not the weapon. That’s a snap-on tool. The weapon is a function body driven by a functional brain. Take out either one, and you’re okay.
    –Violence is rarely the answer, but when it is, it is the ONLY answer. When you see or think of a violent act, condition yourself away from cringing in sympathy with the victim, and into resolving that IF there is violence happening, you will be the one inflicting it to save yourself or your family. This may be difficult for some of us who consider ourselves peace-loving folks. (I will never forget the true example of a college student who woke up in her dorm bed to a serial rapist trying to attack her. She killed him with a thumb through the eye. Gruesome tactic? Absolutely. Better than dying? You decide.)
    –You can’t “fight fair” if you want to live. Fighting for your life is not like throwing a few punches in a bar over whose sportsball team is better. The system actually describes specific bodily injuries you can inflict on specific areas, which, due to biomechanics and the way the brain reacts, are fight stoppers. This works even if your assailant is strung out on something and does not feel pain, because they are not “pain submission” techniques. They are bodily injuries.

    I am sorry if anything I’ve said here has been disturbing to anyone. Few people enjoy considering these ideas, but such are the unfortunate realities of life, and I’m afraid times are not getting better.

  11. If you have a safe bit of woods, get yourself an air pistol and supplies, some fishing line cardboard and paint. Set up a Cowboy Action shoot set up with pop out Shoot and NO Shoot Targets. Add some Hostage Targets too. Even with a poor grade BB pistol you will learn more about a CHANGING Target Environment than you will ever learn at a static target range.

    If you protect it from rain and damp this set up will be useable for many sessions with several people. Some Carpet in areas your concerned about ricochets will make it even safer. Wearing safety goggles always when shooting. I’ve treated eye injuries from an ejected empty at a range more than a few times.

    For extra credit to simulate the real stress reactions of a shoot-NO Shoot situation add some 20 yard wind sprints to the cowboy action training.

    A LOT less accurate when your sweaty and breathing hard.

    The more you sweat in training, the les you bleed in wartime.

  12. I agree that Gavin DeBeckers book is excellent, just know that his perspective is from a Professional Security Consultant for high profile clients. He does not encourage arming yourself and training up. That said, he covers many topics about sit-rep and listening to your instincts. I have given the book to several of my wifes divorced girlfriends who are somewhat resistant to taking personal security to heart. Several of them have come back and thanked me, saying that the book opened their eyes to the real world around them. I can highly recommend this book to anyone.

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