Gunblogger RedeemedBoyd (now added to the blogroll) has done us the honor of recounting his recent Defensive Gun Use (DGU). This occurred only a few days ago, so his recollections are still fresh. Go, read. I have a few comments for when you’re done.
Got it? Good. Let’s look at a couple of things.
Others, including RedeemedBoyd, have already pointed out how it was his situational awareness that allowed him to stop the attack before it even occurred, but I really want to emphasize one significant point: nothing the attackers did in preparation for this ambush appeared unusual or out of place for the location.
Think about that. Every piece of their setup looked innocuous, and nothing set of his alarms until they actually made their approach. Even then, it was only because he saw motion in his mirror from the corner of his eye that he was able to focus on their approach and see the warning signs in time to take the precaution of drawing his pistol. Had he not seen that motion, he might not have had time to notice that they were trying to hide what they were carrying. Had he not been paying attention to his surroundings, he might not have noticed them at all until they were right next to his windows, by which point he probably would not have gotten out of the encounter without at least two broken windows, and probably not without some kind of injury. He would have been trying to draw his pistol while somebody was either grabbing him or striking him with an ASP baton – and at the same time as the other attacker would likely have been trying to grab his daughter on the other side.
Another question to ask, and the answer to this one is pretty chilling: What was their objective? This seems to be an odd and ineffective setup for a simple robbery. If it was a carjacking, they probably wouldn’t have been as ready to break the windows – I don’t know what part of the country he’s in, but this is still January, and even if it is unseasonably warm there it’s still probably cool enough that driving without windows would be unpleasant. Also, whether it was a carjacking or simple theft to strip and sell the car, the getaway car seems to be extraneous – they could drive the stolen car just as easily.
The biggest conclusion that looms in my mind is that this was intended as a physical assault, perhaps as part of an initiation. And that could have been very bad news. Hopefully, if that were the case, they would have left his daughter alone. Hopefully.
Fortunately, RedeemedBoyd had three things working in his favour. 1) He was aware of his surroundings, 2) He was armed, and 3) He kept the presence of mind to react appropriately and prepare as soon as he recognized the possibility of danger.
The final thing to take from this is that the attackers were cowards. As soon as they realized their intended prey was armed, they panicked and ran like scared little jackrabbits with a pack of hounds after them. No attempts to bluster or intimidate, or even to carry out their attack at all. They just ran.
Remember that. Most violent predators are cowards. They deliberately choose the weak, helpless, or unaware – those who are least likely to be able to fight back effectively – as their victims, and they frequently run when confronted. But it’s also very important to remember that they don’t always run. Don’t expect your gun to be a magic talisman that frightens away your attackers as soon as it is drawn without you ever having to pull the trigger. Be prepared to shoot if you have to.
And always carry your gun. It’s a lighter burden than regret.
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