The overwhelming majority of defensive gun uses we discuss here at Bearing Arms are those that have made the news. Typically, these incidents have made the news because the situation escalated to the point lives where at risk and the lawful gun owner had to discharge his or her firearm in order to stop a violent crime.
But there’s both much, much more and much, much less to the reality of armed self-defense in the United States.
The vast majority of defensive gun uses don’t make the news, because the vast majority of the time, the mere presence or display, or even the hint of a firearm caused a criminal to flee.
Think about it: probably every one of us has a friend (or two, or three, or more) who has had to reach for a firearm in self defense at some point. Some have even pulled them. Very few of us have friends who have had to actually to fire their guns.
Today we’re hearing the story of an unknown predator who wisely decided to back off when the man he was targeting for robbery struck a defensive posture.
The bad guy could have had no idea that his target had spent five days at Gunsite Academy in a Defensive Vehicle Tactics class that had prepared him for this very situation.
Mike noticed as he was sorting through his gear at a rest stop on his drive back from Gunsite that someone was watching him and approaching, and then communication happened.
I had just got my gear packed and I was standing by the open driver’s door ready to get in, when he stopped behind my car at the 7-8 o’clock position and about 25-30 yards out. I saw no weapon, but he had on an unzipped jacket, he was facing me full on and his posture said he was ready to charge. (“3. Plan the attack?” Actually, I’m pretty sure it was already planned and this business of coming up behind an unaware person getting into a car is something that had worked for him before.) Condition red.
I admit I was tempted to try to jump in, lock the door, start the engine and drive off. But turning my back to him seemed like a real bad idea. (Later, using Tueller Drill criteria, I calculated he would have been on me in about six seconds – probably less as he had a very athletic build).
At that point I remember thinking, “OK mister, if we’re gonna fight this morning, it isn’t going to be with me trapped in the car and you standing at the door. It is going to be with me behind cover and you out in the open.” So, without turning from him, I closed the driver’s door (to give a clear shot) and moved backwards to the front of my car where the engine block and left front tire provided some cover. I stood there in a balanced fighting stance going through the “If he…, then I…” thinking.
So there we were, eyes locked on each other and not a word said. I remember how GOOD if felt to have on my hip that big ol’ .45 that I had just shot over 1200 times in the previous seven days, and had just cleaned and oiled the night before. And I remember thinking, “If ya gotta do this, put the front sight on center mass and smoothly press the trigger. And again. And again. And again until he is out of the fight. And then look around for his buddy.”
Clearly at that point it was up to him to either enter the “4. Execute the attack” phase or disengage. After a few seconds, his body language told me he was getting very angry and frustrated. Abruptly he turned and stomped off without looking back.
The would-be predator has no idea how close he came to dying, and yet, this is how most violent crimes are thwarted, folks.
There are no gun shots and screams.
There are no flashing lights and sirens, no crime scene tape or curious onlookers.
The good guy wins by not becoming a victim, and the bad guy goes searching for an easier target.
After all, while there are now more “sheepdogs” than ever before, there are always plenty of sheep, ripe for the taking…