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The Definitive Tactics Thread

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2009 - 03:25pm

    #21
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

[quote=Aaron Moyer]

The Akron Pizzeria fight was a "cornerstone" discussion piece some years back.
The question was poised: "How would you deal with this guy" – assuming of course, you were armed.

The general consensus was that his body type would create a "disparity of force", and would justify force elevation from physical to lethal if he started getting rowdy. Which he did. The questions then become, in such close quarters:

– Which tool do you use? Physiology, edged, or firearm?
– How do you retain your weapon? (That is to say, make sure it doesn’t get grabbed out of your hand)
– How do you assure you won’t strike a citizen with a stray round, if you choose firearm?
– Prevent panic in such tight quarters
– Avoid being attacked further by mamajama or other bad guys unintroduced?

[/quote]

Tool preference in this situation in order: physical, blunt, blade, firearm. I definitely would not have drawn a firearm in this situation unless all hell had completely broken loose and collateral damage was acceptable. I probably wouldn’t even have drawn a blade unless I could do so without losing the element of surprise… drawing any sort of weapon alerts your opponent and can cause bystander panic. If straight physical attacks were not enough (likely with little old me against big boy) then I’d use whatever blunt environmental objects were available to augment my physical attacks. Seriously, if you crack someone with a shaker jar of parmesan or pepper flakes, you can do more damage than just your fist alone… even better if there is a fire extinguisher handy! Another tactic to even the playing field when fighting someone bigger than you is to step into him… which seems counterintuitive, but it puts you where his strikes are less effective and yours are more effective. Just watch out for elbows and knees!

Retaining your weapon is always a problem. Firstly, most people unconcsiously rely too much on whatever weapon they are carrying, so when it’s taken from them they lose their confidence. Secondly, drawing a weapon has a higher chance of escalating the situation than diffusing it, so you should only draw a weapon if you intend to use it immediately before your opponent has time to recognize it and react, and you are assured of an immediate take down… but that element of surprise makes it pretty difficult to prove self-defense or deny excessive use of force in court. Thirdly, there is always the risk that your weapon will be used against you or that your opponent has a bigger/better weapon… so, again, you have to deploy and employ your weapon and take the opponent down immediately, which is easier said than done. This is one reason why I would favor environmental weapons in this case… no one is expecting you to nail them with a cheese shaker or napkin dispenser.

Since I would choose firearm only as a last resort in this situation, and only if all hell had broken loose (i.e. multiple assailants had joined the fray), any collateral damage to bystanders is acceptable. Sounds callous, but by the time things had gotten so bad that I would actually use a firearm, everyone else should have clued in to the situation and taken cover, etc. At that point, it’s every man for himself. Sure, I’d try to avoid shooting the wrong person, but if I did I wouldn’t feel too bad about it because they should have gotten out of the way.

Avoiding panic is always best acheived by doing whatever you’re going to do to drop the guy quickly. It actually takes a surprisingly long time for shock to turn to panic, which you can evidence in the video. Even though there was a relatively long lead in to the true altercation and the violence lasted several seconds, no one paniced not even once it was all over. Most people will not panic as long as there doesn’t appear to be an immediate threat to them… which is also another good reason not to draw a weapon. Weapons increase the probability of bystander panic exponentially. Even if you are the good guy, the fact that you have a weapon often causes bystanders to think you are the bad guy… so instead of seeing you as a savior, they see you as the threat. This is very bad for business, since they can not only panic and get in your way, but they may also attempt to disable & disarm you.

Once big boy is incapacitated, I doubt mamjama would be much of a threat. Reading the situation, it’s likely that she was only mouthy and confident because she knew she had backup. Take that away from her and she loses confidence. However, I still wouldn’t have stopped tracking her in my periphery and would be expecting an attack just in case. If she did attack, it’s highly likely that it would be an emotional, rash attack which puts me at an advantage as long as I remain cool… I have a higher chance of landing a strategic hit because I’m still thinking clearly. Same goes for more bad guys joining the fray… never lose track of the what’s going on at the door. One guy coming in could be handled the same as mamajama. Multiple guys coming in, or anyone producing a weapon, all bets are off… but your chances are improved because everyone else will panic and disorient the assailant(s). You can use this to your advantage for a strategic strike or retreat as long as you keep your wits about you… it at least gives you some time (and human cover) to dive behind the counter to evade or at least get more solid cover.

  • Wed, Jun 03, 2009 - 04:01pm

    #22
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    Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Gee, Aaron, this thread really makes me feel like my PTSD hypervigilence is a good and useful thing. Thanks!!

OK, here are some things that I do subconsciously and automatically that may be of some use for less traumatized folks to start practicing consciously if they want to improve their situational awareness and threat assessment skills.

Whenever I enter a new location:

  • locate all exits and entries and position myself where I can see them all and can access at least two. I never sit with my back to a door or window unless there is something reflective in front of me that I can see behind me with, or I’m with someone who I trust is just as aware as I am. 
  • locate all persons and assess their threat level**. If there seems to be too many people that could be a threat and the potential for danger is unacceptable, I leave. If I can’t assess someone’s threat level I make sure I position myself so I am not in their potential attack path and can keep an eye on them, just in case.
  • locate all areas of reasonable cover/safety and position myself where I can access at least two (or create at least one)
  • locate and assess all environmental objects that could be used as weapons (either by me or an assailant)

Whenever someone changes their position, or enters/leaves the location, I reassess everything because the dynamic of the room just changed and new threats could develop, exits could be blocked, potential weapons could be moved, etc.

** Assessing someone’s threat level is a skill unto itself. Gungnir posted some suggestions further up about people watching to improve this skill, and I think that advice and approach is pretty good. I can’t exactly explain how I do it, but some people just give me a hinky vibe and I’m always aware of the quiet guy in the corner. If you watch long enough, you can see changes in the dynamic of a group as it grows and shrinks, and especially when key members arrive and depart. It usually takes me less than 5 minutes to pick out the leader, the muscle, the scout, the mouth and the straggler. Identifying stragglers is important, they are potential allies in dangerous situations because they are not entirely committed to the group’s mentality.  Not every group has all these members, or one member may perform multiple roles… but a few more minutes of observation will normally tell you that, too.

  • Wed, Jun 03, 2009 - 04:20pm

    #23
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    Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

And another thing… LOL

Don’t rely on a single sense and don’t put yourself in a situation where one of your major senses is hindered. Talking on the phone, wearing headphones, cranking up the stereo, wearing sunglasses, sometimes even wearing hats & gloves can all mess up your ability to detect potential threats. This is one of the reasons that night clubs and crowded places are nightmares… your visibility is hampered, your hearing is hampered, your sense of touch and smell is overloaded. You can still track a person in a room even if you can’t see them as long as you can still hear (talking, clothes rustling, footsteps) and smell (perfume/cologne, laundry detergent, BO).

  • Wed, Jun 03, 2009 - 05:26pm

    #24
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    Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Pete – Your story was very interesting to me because we seem to share some parallels.  While I am not near as experienced or skillful as you, I’m very comfortable with sport shooting and I’ve done some hunting.  Until recently, I never considered owning a weapon for defensive purposes.  I am going to follow your example, and the lead of others in this thread, in taking some self defense & tactical shooting classes.

The videos made me think of several things:

  • I need to study the legal limits of using a weapon in a confrontation.  I suspect, had the homeowner hit one of the fleeing invaders, he would be guilty of a criminal offense.
  • In the pizza video, why didn’t anyone step forward to try to diffuse or break up the fight?  The "don’t get involved" mentality seems all to common.  Message: we cannot afford to hope that others, especially strangers, will help protect us.
  • Street toughs are encouraged to attack if they see that you are intimidated and will always try to strike the first blow; it is a huge advantage.  In such a conflict, I would clearly warn the potential attacker not to get too close  I think this helps protect you both physically and legally (if you must throw the first punch).  If you had a gun in this situation, would it be wise to alert the potential attacker that you armed and capable (without drawing the weapon)?  
  • The videos made me imagine how I would react in different situations if I decide to carry a gun.  Aaron’s comment "Which tool do you use? Physiology, edged, or firearm?" made me think that I should consider carrying mace or pepper spray in addition to carrying a gun.  

Aaron, thanks for the thread.

Larry

  • Wed, Jun 03, 2009 - 07:07pm

    #25
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    Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Gee, Aaron, this thread really makes me feel like my PTSD hypervigilence is a good and useful thing.

PlicketyCat,

I’ve been fascinated by your participation in this thread. You bring some interesting perspectives to the table.

Re your "PTSD hypervigilence", have you been in a combat zone or similar situation? A very close buddy of mine is a Vietnam Vet and he reacts much as you have described.

I thought I was a relatively vigilant person, but you are leagues ahead of me!

  • Thu, Jun 04, 2009 - 12:48am

    #26
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    Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

[quote=DrKrbyLuv]

Pete – Your story was very interesting to me because we seem to share some parallels.  While I am not near as experienced or skillful as you, I’m very comfortable with sport shooting and I’ve done some hunting.  Until recently, I never considered owning a weapon for defensive purposes.  I am going to follow your example, and the lead of others in this thread, in taking some self defense & tactical shooting classes.

The videos made me think of several things:

  • I need to study the legal limits of using a weapon in a confrontation.  I suspect, had the homeowner hit one of the fleeing invaders, he would be guilty of a criminal offense.
  • In the pizza video, why didn’t anyone step forward to try to diffuse or break up the fight?  The "don’t get involved" mentality seems all to common.  Message: we cannot afford to hope that others, especially strangers, will help protect us.
  • Street toughs are encouraged to attack if they see that you are intimidated and will always try to strike the first blow; it is a huge advantage.  In such a conflict, I would clearly warn the potential attacker not to get too close  I think this helps protect you both physically and legally (if you must throw the first punch).  If you had a gun in this situation, would it be wise to alert the potential attacker that you armed and capable (without drawing the weapon)?  
  • The videos made me imagine how I would react in different situations if I decide to carry a gun.  Aaron’s comment "Which tool do you use? Physiology, edged, or firearm?" made me think that I should consider carrying mace or pepper spray in addition to carrying a gun.  

Aaron, thanks for the thread.

Larry

[/quote]

In Florida, according to section 790.015, Florida Statutes, 1999, the homeowner would be liable for assault with a deadly weapon.

The threat was OVER. You are not allowed to continue in the use of deadly force if the perpetrator(s) is fleeing the crime scene.

My NRA instructor told us NEVER warn them. On par with your personal defense weapon, the element of surprise is your most potent advantage. Why waive that? 

I am looking for a BUG as a second line of defense. What if I am jumped from behind by his buddy and my primary falls out of my hand? You have to have a backup to situational awareness, right? 

  • Thu, Jun 04, 2009 - 05:03am

    #27
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    Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

[quote=SamLinder]

Gee, Aaron, this thread really makes me feel like my PTSD hypervigilence is a good and useful thing.

PlicketyCat,

I’ve been fascinated by your participation in this thread. You bring some interesting perspectives to the table.

Re your "PTSD hypervigilence", have you been in a combat zone or similar situation? A very close buddy of mine is a Vietnam Vet and he reacts much as you have described.

I thought I was a relatively vigilant person, but you are leagues ahead of me!

[/quote]

Not military combat, no… just a really crappy childhood, living/working in some questionable neighborhoods, and having a few loser boyfriends. Which I guess is really similar when you think about it.

LOL – now you know why I want to live in the middle of nowhere, miles and miles away from other humans 🙂

  • Thu, Jun 04, 2009 - 05:10am

    #28
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    Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

[quote=Pete In Florida]

My NRA instructor told us NEVER warn them. On par with your personal defense weapon, the element of surprise is your most potent advantage. Why waive that? 

[/quote]

I wholeheartedly agree with your instructor. You can tell them to stop or to leave you alone, that normally covers your butt legally, but don’t ever warn a perp that you have a weapon or that you intend to use it. The element of surprise is your greatest advantage in most situations, especially when you are outnumbered or facing a larger opponent.

  • Thu, Jun 04, 2009 - 05:27am

    #29
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    Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Larry,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

In most states, there is a "castle doctrine" – in which if you’re attacked on your home turf, you have the right to defend yourself.
That said, it’s always wise to consult your local regulations, and state laws on the matter. They should be available publically.

Whatever you do *don’t* take the word of someone working in a Gunshop. They’re there because they can’t find a job in the profession of arms, not because they are experienced in the subject. Not always the case, but a good thing to keep in mind when they start spewing advice.

Since we’ve all had a chance to look on some successes and failures… USAF guys joking around… and analyzed the reasons that we fail or succeed under pressure, let’s follow Plickety’s example and describe things we can do on a daily basis to increase our awareness, ability and readiness to take action in bad situations.

Today, I worked in the gym for an hour, the pool for a half hour, went to the range and fired with both my strong and support side, sparred against a friend with training knives, airsoft and hand to hand.

I think it was a good day for developing skillset. Plickety touched on mindset.
How do tactics figure into our routine? Feel free to comment on any one leg of the "combat triad" and what you feel you have done or could do to "strengthen" yours. Keep in mind that equipment is, as a mentor of mine said, the "paint" on the stool.

Can yours support your weight? 
How can we improve?

Cheers!

Aaron

  • Thu, Jun 04, 2009 - 08:55am

    #30
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    Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Aaron. I am familar with the Castle Doctrine. Do you know that it does not apply to your front yard though in FL? 

I read, and studied Florida Statutes. The last invader was shot at while fleeing. That’s a felony in Florida if the DA wanted to prosecute. That’s also what our CCW instructor warned us never to do. Engage a fleeing perp. The threat is over, he’s out of the house. Castle doctrine no longer applicable.

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