Why Running Might be the Worst Thing to DO
I can't even begin to recall how many threads I've read and or participated in involving real and theoretical situations and one subject people never seen to discuss is the how and why some people would be much better of to automatically engage a threat rather than waste precious seconds trying to escape a deadly shooting .
So here goes a shot at trying to share my thoughts .
First off can you run ? Yes I mean the physical act of running without keeling over having a heart attack .
How many married working people in their 30's beyond have had a reason to break out into and all out dash even for say 50 yards ? It isn't exactly a skill most need for raising the kids , paying the bills even when you take into consideration working all day , not many jobs require it . This is needed even less the older you get .
Then theres the ability to run hunched over so as to present as small a target as you can . How many close to or over age 40 can do this without running the real chance of having their back lock up on them and perhaps go into spasms ?
How fleet are you on your feet ? Suppose you have a nice fairly clear shot "run" at a doorway and the shooter is faced the other way , only one problem you have to make small jumps over the bodies of those already down and or perhaps other small obstacles like say a baby stroller here and there . You jump a body and a foot lands in a puddle of blood , can you keep your balance and keep running without falling on you azz ?
Then there's the ever popular topic of using cover when shots ring out and a madman is 30 ' away perhaps with his back turned to you .
You don't have time to just sashay your azz over to something to hide behind and get comfy you better move your little azz as fast as you can and to many they might instinctively try diving behind something solid .
When's the last time you dove on the ground ? Yes yes I know you use to play football in the mud and even the hard packed ground without pads and for those of us really stupid we even played a game or two in paved parking lots and streets , problem is that was all 20-25+ years ago or more can you still hit the ground that hard and not get the wind knocked out of you ?
Can you still instinctively roll when you hit the ground to prevent injury ?
See I've done all this crap and more , jumped off of a roof or two without a trip to the hospital by hitting the ground rolling , taken hot grounders to the chest and thrown out the batter before he got to first , run the catcher over and knocked the ball loose so I was safe etc. etc. .
Problem is this was all many years and miles and miles ago on my back and knees and I don't delude myself into thinking I'll magically be able to do it all again just because bullets are flying around .
Fact of the matter is when it comes down to a shooting if any these things come into play your age and physical condition and that of your attacker will be taken into consideration . One hardly expects a man to run to prevent having to shoot an attacker or prevent being shot and chance dieing because of a known physical condition .
For all of the younger crowd that thinks running will always be the best plan I suggest you get and stay in tip top condition your entire life and pray your back doesn't get hurt in some freak accident .
I guess it would come down to a choice between trying to run and possibly being shot, or standing like a target and surely getting shot.
In your scenario, if the shooter has his back to you, then he's going to be shot by me! If someone is looking to shoot and takes his eyes off of me if I'm armed, then it's the end of him. No running necessary.
If I'm unarmed and he's close enough and not looking at me, then anything at hand that can be used as a weapon is going to be in my hands. I would hope that other people in the area will think the same thing. If, as some experts have said, that a man within a few feet can rush an armed person and engage before a gun can be brought to bear, then attacking instead of running will probably work. Hopefully, the shooter will be startled enough to see someone actually daring to engage unarmed that one or two seconds will freeze him enough to make my attack successful.
It all depends on the circumstances: who else is around and can an attack be made successfully.
One of the best firearms/traffic stop classes I ever took in my 28 years as an LEO broke the mold of all the classes we were ever taught.
The Basics: MOVE!, DRAW!, SHOOT!
The Course was designed as a live fire course intertwined with something Cops do the most of and get killed the most on - the Traffic Stop. However, after taking this I automatically (without thinking) incorporated it into every aspect of my daily work.
If you're responding to a "man with gun" or robbery call, you expect to encounter an armed suspect, so you're probably drawn and at the ready from the get-go. But make a stop on some soccer mom who's just made an illegal turn or other minor infraction, you're not at your highest threat level.
Not being a medical professional, it was explained to me like this: If you suddenly find yourself taken by surprise with a gun pointed at you, that prospective shooter has got you in his/her sights and is focused on YOU!
Make a quick move while drawing makes that shooter divert their attention from where you were to where you went to. It may be only a second or two, but that short time can be the difference between going home or to the hospital or morgue. Making that move to cover is a plus, but ANY move increases your chances of survival.
Credit this Course to Bob Magnuson, Maple Heights (OH) PD (probably retired by now)
Bob (no relation)
You have just summed up why you should never mess around with an old man. We are accustomed to pain, we CAN'T run, and we WILL fight.
"Back in the day" when I was a wee lad in martial arts training (not "karate" or "mma", but martial arts, that wonderful quest for self-improvement, that lifelong journey to be more), there was a self-defence drill where, first move, instead of handling a percieved threat or launching a counterattack, the defender creates a distraction. Essentially going "Woohoo!" while waving a hand in the air.
Never had a chance to use it, but the style I trained in was very much authentic. Probably the oldest non-"kung fu" style (Shuri-Ryu if anyone is interested).
Personally, I'd run if I had the chance. If someone's fool enough to point a gun in my face, however, he/she'd better hope that not only is the trigger finger faster than my arms, but also that they have better reaction time than me (doubtful on both counts) and that they can follow me as I drop a good half-foot or more while making my move to "disarm".
"Disarm" in this case would likely end with the arm being broken in a few places.
In the State of Missouri we passed a law few months back that you do not have to go through a bunch of BS if someone breaks into your home, unlike most States we do not have to say (I have a gun ) and I am calling 911, before shooting intruder, you can now just shoot. I always wondered if the intruder lived and the home owner did not announce he had a gun and did not say all that how would it play out in court.
Regardless of what you do, you must have a plan BEFORE you get into that situation. One of the things I was taught (and still seems valid today) is "Do something even if it is wrong". Action beats inaction every time. Just stupidly standing there is a recipe for death. BUT, in the midst of an armed encounter is not the time to fabricate a plan. The plan MUST be worked out beforehand.
Our brains are very much like computers, the fastest responses are pre-programmed. Our brains have cognitive abilities (can problem solve) but these abilities take up a lot of "RAM".
Think of the TERMINATOR in the first movie. He climbed into his little hotel room, kinda shot up and starting to smell bad. The manager of the hotel (probably not smelling alot better) knocked at the door and inquired "Hey buddy, whaddaya got in there, a dead cat?". The Terminator having no ability to work out the problem, refers to a list of pre-programmed responses that are visible in his eyes. He scrolls down to one response that his computer mind chooses as the best response, "Fu@* You, A$$hole!" (With a distinctive Austrian accent) and the manager goes away.
You must have a plan and maybe a backup plan as no plan survives first contact with the enemy. Beyond that you are making a mistake in trying to plan for every continigincy. Hicks Law states that each added option from which you can choose doubles your reaction time. Have a plan. Make it a simple one and put it into action very quickly.
Every year about a third of the officers who are killed in the line of duty die doing NOTHING. Running may not be the best plan but it beats the heck out of no plan.
They would probably sue and (sadly) stand a chance given our current system! One thing to remember is that career criminals are very versed in working the system. As far as running away, I will if I think I can make it to safety, but given a broken vertebrae in my back, much more than a few yards, (or diving and jumping) risks paralysis. I'm pretty much stuck with fighting back. Guess I need the CCW.
Was just reminded of the story of the youngster picking up his girl for a first date. Dad reminded him "I have a 30-06, and backhoe, and 200 acres of land out back. Have her home at 11:00. "
Run, are you kidding?
During my youth, my best time in the 100 yard dash was vastly slower than any primitive weapon, and I mean rock throwing type of weapon. I haven't speeded up any in 53 years, so I carry a gun and practice like crazy drawing from concealment and moving just enough to spoil the other guy's aim. I figure just watching me will probably get the other guy laughing long enough for me to double-tap him.:)
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