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Old February 11, 2006, 02:48 PM   #1
ArcherAndShooter
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If you have to draw...

I'm still fairly new to CCW, so I'm still thinking things out as I get used to this new way of living.

I am pondering a question about drawing your weapon in a situation where you know you need to, but you are not yet staring down the barrel of the BG's own weapon.

Is it better to draw your weapon quickly, so as to have it in hand as soon as possible, or to move quietly, with stealth, so as to not draw attention to yourself, and thus maybe get the gun out and ready with the BG still unaware that there is armed opposition suddenly in the situation?

As I think about different possibilities, it seems like the answer may differ. For instance, if I'm in the back aisle of a convenience store when thieves break in, stealth is probably the answer, especially if I have shelves of merchandise to hide myself or at least my movement behind. OTOH, out in the open, speed may be better.

I usually carry with Thunderwear, and I'd hate to be spotted with my hand inside my belt with the weapon not out and ready yet. Talk about useless; I'd have just advertised that I have a gun but not be in any position to actually use it!!

Lots of variables in the situation, I know. I'd just like people's thoughts, especially if anyone has a real-world story to tell that sheds some light on the question.

Thanks, all.
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Old February 11, 2006, 04:15 PM   #2
rmagill
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I think you are right in that it varries on the situation. If there is a situation where the BGs already have their guns out and are being alert, just drawing and firing could get you killed, whereas being a little more discrete would be prudent. However when some idiot decides to rush you with a knife, that is not the time to be stealthy, instead a quick draw would be more appropriate. It depends on the situation.
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Old February 11, 2006, 11:05 PM   #3
bruchi
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it always depends...

There are so many variables and posibilities that there's no clear answer to cover all.

I do have an aquaintance that carries and the exact thing happened to him, he was all the way in the back of a grocery store and heard when some BGS walked in and yelled that it was a robbery, also heard when one of them racked a round into a shotgun. He was unnoticed by them so he carfully took his gun out and placed it among some cans of beans, still ready to grab but not on him. The BGS just took the store's cash and left, he then walked to the front and asked what happened like he was unaware of the whole thing.

Some may think he is a coward, I don't, he did exactly the right thing, BGS at most are not looking for a murder rap, they just want the easy cash.
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Old February 12, 2006, 01:24 AM   #4
miconoakisland
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Be prepared

Every situation creates it's own response.

Just be alert and prepared. Try to be in a situation where your gun is accessable if needed (like the previous post's guy).

If a BG is coming toward you threateningly, try yelling "Look out!" and look behind him. This may give you enough time to draw and fire while his attention is averted elsewhere. I haven't had to do this, and I don't know if it would work, but diverting the BG's attention for a second may give you the edge needed, especially if he didn't think you were armed.

Keep inconspicuous and humble as possible during an armed robbery, but act suddenly and forcefully if necessary. There is no such thing as cheating or not playing fair when defending your life.
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Old February 12, 2006, 11:55 AM   #5
TooTall
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I guess that you would say that I'm "experienced" with CCW, for I have legally carried for 35 years (31 as an active-duty LEO, 4 as a retiree).

In those 35 years, I have had to draw my weapon a total of TWICE, but neither of those times escalated to shootings. The first time was during an actual "car-jacking" that caught me by surprise.

I was in a gas station, ready to fill up the tank of my truck when I heard a lady yelling for help.
When I turned toward the commotion, a huge man pushed the lady away from her car and got into the drivers seat. It didn't appear to be a "domestic" squabble, and that was verified when the lady yelled, "He's stealing my car!" Fortunately, she had removed the keys from the ignition, so the bad guy wasn't going anywhere. I drew down on him and identified myself as a police officer, then ordered him to stay seated in the car with his hands firmly planted on the steering wheel. The lady rushed into the gas station and called the local police. About two YEARS later (that's what it seemed like, but it was only a few minutes), the first police unit arrived, and I dropped my pistol to the "ready" position while loudly identifying myself to the officers. The bad guy was taken into custody without any violence.

The second time was a bit more scary. It took place in a local convenience store. Four men entered while I was inside, and their actions seemed VERY suspicious. They went to the four corners of the store, then started working closer to where the cash register and employee were. The next thing I knew, 3 of them were at the cash register, with one of them trying to grab the clerk. To this day, I still don't know WHY I did what I did, but....I yelled out "Police officer!"
The 3 men at the cash register stopped, turned toward me, and the 4th suspect stepped directly in front of me. I had drawn both my weapon AND my badge, holding my pistol at the "ready" position.
The only option that I could think of at the time was to use the suspect in the aisle directly in front of me as a "shield"....and I pushed him toward the other 3 suspects while yelling, "Get out of the store!" It must have been somewhat strange to see, for it was almost like playing "Human Domino's"! I pushed the nearest suspect, who collided with one of the others, then the third and fourth one! I continued to push the nearest suspect away from me, toward the exit door of the store.

AH! Thank goodness for my local police! They had seen those 4 suspects enter the store, but they chose to check on the license plate of their car before doing anything else. By the time that they received info that the car had been reported stolen, they then observed the "Domino effect" taking place inside the store! Also, it came in quite handy that one of those local police officers was able to "perceive" me as a fellow LEO! When they stepped into the store, with their guns drawn, I heard that officer say, "It's a 10851!" to me (that is the CA code for a stolen vehicle). I had never met either one of those officers before, but I was sure glad to see them!
None of the suspects were armed, but their actions made it clear that they were in the midst of attempting to commit a "take-over" robbery. I was just thankful for everything haven fallen into place so nicely and perfectly timed!

There are NO scenarios that you can run through your mind that will fit what might happen in the "real world". That is why you need to be aware of what is going on around you at all times, and be PREPARED to do whatever might be necessary. Of course, in the two situations that I have been involved in, I probably could have done NOTHING, since I wasn't personally in jeopardy.

Lastly, I was chastised in one of the other gun-related forum boards for having mentioned that there IS a difference between "citizen" CCW permitees and off-duty police officers. In that other forum board, their concensus of opinion was that off-duty officers were merely "citizens", and that it was WRONG for police officers to have been granted the "privelege" of nation-wide carry when "citizens" weren't allowed to do so. Well, I'm not AGAINST nation-wide carry for CCW permitees, but....if you consider that I was an active-duty police officer for 30 years BEFORE officers were granted nation-wide "priveleges" AND having been through substantially more firearms training courses than the "average" CCW permitee....I feel that you CCW people are going to have to just wait your turn for FULL, nation-wide reciprocity! In the meantime, DON'T let your fellow CCW permitees down by screwing up! PROVE yourselves worthy of having your CCW "rights"! I truly believe that "Homeland Security" isn't merely a branch of our government...it's ALL of us who are armed, prepared, and are willing to stand up proudly against our foes.
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Old February 12, 2006, 12:38 PM   #6
CraigJS
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+++ Too Tall!
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Old February 12, 2006, 02:34 PM   #7
Hard Ball
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Take Jeff Cooper's advice. "Draw as fast as you can and shoot as slow as you must!"
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Old February 12, 2006, 04:02 PM   #8
model 25
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Guy here in town got his butt in a sling recently. He had his house broke into and went on watch because he thought they would be back. Soon he sees a group of druggies that gather at a house two doors down and proceeds to get their lic numbers off their cars.

This makes em mad and they push a confrontation. He carries in a SOB rig and as 4 guys came at him he reached back and placed his hand on his gun. Obvious sign a man has a gun is reaching for it. The creeps call the cops and report him for brandishing a gun and pointing it at someone there.

He is arrested and has to prove he didn't do it. He got a lawyer and spent big bucks and along with the conflicting stories of the addicts he got off from the charges.

Moral of the story is better think about what you are about to do and what you may end up doing.

25
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Old February 12, 2006, 09:04 PM   #9
Dwight55
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Archer, . . . in your original post, . . . you indicated in was "a situation where you know you need to, (draw your firearm"

Don't get me wrong, . . . this is not a put down, . . . but if you are going to CCW, . . . you must be clear, clear, clear, clear on the time(s) you can engage with deadly force, . . . and the time(s) you cannot.

IF, IF you need to do it, . . . there is no grey area, . . . just do it. If there is no need, . . . be observant to what piqued your attention just in case it evolves into a need.

The absolute worst thing that can happen to a CCW person is to pull down on an innocent person and end their life, . . . IMO, . . . and that must be avoided with all diligence. Get some good training, . . . become vigilant, . . . learn to walk through scenarios in your mind using the force requirements of your location.

May God bless,
Dwight
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Old February 13, 2006, 01:38 PM   #10
ArcherAndShooter
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No offense taken, and thanks

Dwight, as I mentioned, I'm new to carrying, and this thread and others I read on TFL are part of my ongoing "training". I'm aware that thinking things out ahead of time is one of my best defenses against being surprised into doing the WRONG thing. Not that I expect to cover every possibility, or even most, but if I think through things that might happen given the normal activities of my life, I'll tilt the odds at least a little more in my favor.

TooTall, I doubt I'll ever have the training you had, though I'm looking for reputable instructors near here, and I hope if I carry for 35 years I NEVER have to draw my weapon.

Thanks to all for some good thoughts.
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