August 05, 2017

What to do if your assailant has a gun?

Many times in my self-defense class I get asked what to do if the attacker has a gun.  This is a great question that requires a well-rounded explanation to gain an understanding of what your options are.

It’s about problem solving what is presented to you.  When dealing with an attacker with a gun it is best to have different tools available to you to solve that problem. There may be instances when utilizing those tools is dependent on your location, proximity to attacker, and weaponry being presented to you (handgun versus rifle, shotgun, etc). 

We have to recognize that attacks of any nature are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving in which we have to make split second decisions.  Take that a step further and understand that your body will have a significant reaction to this critical incident stress such as elevated heart rate, rapid breathing, reduction of fine motor skills, and slowing cognitive ability that causes hesitation.  How you handle that stress will be a factor in determining the effectiveness of your response.

First and foremost, you must mentally prepare that not only might it happen to you but you will WIN the encounter!!!  The appropriate mind set is the first requirement for any effective self-defense strategy.  This requires a warrior mindset and concern about your personal survival.  No one is immune from being attacked so don't take your continued survival for granted just because it hasn't happened to you.  The mind must be trained just as the body is trained.  Train the mind and the body will follow. 

Second, you must open your eyes to the world around you and raise your level of awareness.  Your mental state, tactics, and training will all be used to WIN the encounter from the onset.  It allows you to immediately recognize threats, immediately develop a plan, and immediately implement the plan.  Awareness and mental preparation are everything in real world situations.

Lastly, the most important and fundamental level of survival is to stay alive.  To accomplish this, one must be prepared both physically and emotionally to prevail.  This means that you must know some physical skills of self-defense and have the appropriate mind set. 

I have identified some steps you can take below if this situation presents itself to you and includes whether or not you are armed with a tool to solve that problem. 

If you have no weapons other than your firsts, elbows, knees, etc.

You must develop your knowledge of target areas to strike, specific movements and techniques specific to you, your size, your ability and identify how to manipulate body mechanics that allows you to stop the attack and focus on disabling the attacker, allowing you to get away safely. 

  1. Get off the center line of the attack.  We don't want the weapon pointed directly at us.  The bullet travels at 1,000 feet per second so that first movement needs to be quick and deliberate moving away from the barrel of the weapon.
  2. Secure the weapon.  We do this by physically taking control of the weapon while making sure it is not pointed at us if we are in close proximity.  The exact movement will be dependent on whether the gun is pointed at our head, torso, if we are in close proximity, and what type of weapon it is.  If the barrel is pointed at our head, we make a "V" with our hands together-palms facing out, thumbs overlapping, and push up and under the barrel of the gun moving it up and off our forehead.  If the gun is pointed at our torso we move off the center line of the barrel while stepping in closer to the attacker.  If the attacker is not close enough to us we may need to consider running and trying to find cover that will stop the bullet if we are fired at. Zig zagging radically while running will make it more difficult to hit you.
  3. Strike the attacker.  We do this as a follow up to "securing the weapon" which allows us to strike a target area that either distracts or disables to then move into the next step of taking the gun away from the attacker.
  4. Take the gun from the attacker.  We have to utilize forceful movement with the barrel of the gun pointed away from us and toward the attacker in order to follow-through with stopping the attack and gaining control of what can hurt us, the GUN.
  5. Point the weapon you have taken in a safe direction (at the attacker if necessary) while creating distance.
  6. Check for additional threats/attackers/bad guys.
  7. Exit the area immediately.

what to do if your assailant has a gun

If you have the D.A.D.® 2:

Why incorporate a Non-Lethal device into Self-Defense Training?

To give you the advantage of having hands on skills but also train you with something that may be necessary to stop that attack.   The Defense Alert Device (D.A.D.) is the first non-lethal personal safety device with smart technology. It is the #1 Rated Military Grade Pepper Spray that utilizes custom Bluetooth technology inside of its polycarbonate shell (the same thing as bullet proof glass is made out of).

The Bluetooth alert immediately sends out your location to friends and family anywhere in the world that they can receive via text, email and the app itself, if they have it. If not, they can receive it via text and email.

This same alert goes out via crowd alert to anyone within a one-mile radius that has the free D.A.D. mobile App installed on their phone. The alert recipients have the choice of clicking on the 911 button and calling police with the senders GPS address, and/or they can choose to help themselves as they may only be 50 feet away rather than 9 minutes away.

The D.A.D. has such a quick, efficient response to an attack that it provides the needed time and space to get away.

  1. Get off the center line of the attack.  We don't want the weapon pointed directly at us.  The bullet travels at 1,000 feet per second so that first movement needs to be quick and deliberate moving away from the barrel of the weapon.
  2. Secure the weapon.  We do this by physically taking control of the weapon while making sure it is not pointed at us if we are in close proximity.  The exact movement will be dependent on whether the gun is pointed at our head, torso, if we are in close proximity, and what type of weapon it is.  If the barrel is pointed at our head, we make a "V" with our hands together-palms facing out toward the assailant, thumbs overlapping, and push up and under the barrel of the gun moving it up and off our forehead.  If the gun is pointed at our torso we move off the center line of the barrel while stepping in and closer to the attacker.  If the attacker is not close enough to us we may need to consider running and trying to find cover that will stop the bullet if we are fired at.
  3. Spray the attacker.  We do this as a follow up to "securing the weapon" which allows us to spray the target (eyes) area that causes immediate vision loss and respiratory distress to then move into the next step of taking the gun away from the attacker.
  4. Take the gun from the attacker.  We have to utilize forceful movement with the barrel of the gun pointed away from us and toward the attacker in order to follow-through with stopping the attack and gaining control of what can hurt us, the GUN.
  5. Point the weapon you have taken in a safe direction (at the attacker if necessary) while creating distance.
  6. Check for additional threats/attackers/bad guys.
  7. Exit the area immediately.

If you have a gun:

  1. Get off the center line of the attack.  We don't want the weapon pointed directly at us.  The bullet travels at 1,000 feet per second so that first movement needs to be quick and deliberate moving away from the barrel of the weapon.
  2. Secure the weapon.  We do this by physically taking control of the weapon while making sure it is not pointed at us if we are in close proximity.  The exact movement will be dependent on whether the gun is pointed at our head, torso, if we are in close proximity, and what type of weapon it is.  If the barrel is pointed at our head, we make a "V" with our hands together-palms facing out, thumbs overlapping, and push up and under the barrel of the gun moving it up and off our forehead.  If the gun is pointed at our torso we move off the center line of the barrel while stepping in and closer to the attacker.  If the attacker is not close enough to us we may need to consider running and trying to find cover that will stop the bullet if we are fired at.
  3. Retrieve your own weapon and determine your course of action.
  4. Take the gun from the attacker.  We have to utilize forceful movement with the barrel of the gun pointed away from us and toward the attacker in order to follow-through with stopping the attack and gaining control of what can hurt us, the GUN.
  5. Point the weapon you have taken in a safe direction (at the attacker if necessary) while creating distance.
  6. Check for additional threats/attackers/bad guys.
  7. Exit the area immediately.

 

In closing, there is no one answer that solves this problematic question.  It is about mental prep, problem solving what is presented, and training that incorporates realism and stress so we identify our own unique fight or flight responses to WIN the encounter.  "Thinking" you are prepared isn't good enough, you've got to KNOW you are prepared!!!"

BY:  Gloria Marcott

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Gloria Marcott began her self-defense business in 1992 focusing on helping young girls and women. She has over 20 years of self- defense classes and seminars experience.  She is the creator and Master Trainer of the Level 1 Certification Program for TigerLight, Inc. - makers of the Defense Alert Device (D.A.D.).  http://www.defensealertdevice.com .  She began her Law Enforcement career in 2003 in Albuquerque, NM. While there she served as a Firearms, Officer Survival, Ground Control, and Defensive Tactics Instructor. She was also a part of the Emergency Response Team, CNT Member, Region 1 Narcotics Detective and worked as a DEA Task Force Officer conducting Federal Narcotics Investigations for five years. In 2015, Marcott relocated to Rio Rancho Police Department where she works as their Training Coordinator – Master Instructor. Her focus is on Tactical Firearms, Officer Survival, Force Encounters Analysis, Defensive Tactics, Terrorism Response Tactics, and Active Shooter Response.   Marcott continues to create and run contract courses establishing various programs and in-service material for major local and state departments in the US.  

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