View Full Version : Theory of Self Defense-What do you think?

January 18, 2006, 11:11 AM
I have a theory about firearm based self defense, and I would like to hear what this forum thinks of it. I belive the keys to successful firearms based self defense are as follows:
1) Disposition (Those that have the will to win can. It has been posted on this forum that the psychological implications of being shot often affect the outcome of a conflict. The man who remains calm and keeps his wits about him has the advantage. No matter how good you are on the range doesn't matter if you react slowly and poorly on the street)
2) Marksmanship (if you can't hit the target, can't control your fire, etc. you're doomed)
3) Tactics (training with and learning from a qualified professional is key!It teaches you what to expect and how to expect the unexpected!)
4) Capacity (better have enough ammo. Running dry is not good!)
5) Caliber ( use the caliber you are most comfortable with. These last two go hand in hand, and are a balance I believe)

I am prepared for flames, but am curious as to what the forum thinks!:)

January 18, 2006, 11:29 AM
you get a 90%. You forgot situational awarness, the perverbial "yellow alert"

January 18, 2006, 12:40 PM
+1 for the Situational Awareness. It will keep you out of more badly developing scenarios than all the other 'characteristics' combined.

Also, IMHO caliber doesn't rate a spot as one of the "Keys" to success. Caliber is not a consistent crucial factor in the outcome of your SD situation.

I would suggest the following, in order of magnitude:

Situational Awareness
Training / Preparedness
Mindset / Disposition

Maybe throw in Capacity towards the end. Not sure if that's really a consistent factor, either... I mean, lots of people CC their 6-shot revolvers w/no additional speedloader.
After all, it's an SD weapon not an assault weapon :D

I like the thought process, though. A+

January 18, 2006, 02:27 PM
2nd the others response. I think situational awareness should be #1 on the list.I am 100% positive that my awareness has saved me the trouble of having to present a weapon with intent to do serious damage.

I got a funny feeling outside a convienence store one night. At first my brain said "you're crazy, quite being a sissy and go on in". Then I decided to give it a few seconds and see what happens. Sure enough a smash and grab insued. The store clerk protested and got a pistol in the face for his effort. It was over in 15 seconds. I would have been standing in between BG and the exit had I entered the store. Bad place to be. Ended up being a pellet gun and 300 dollars but I have no doubt I would have drilled the guy had I been in the store and seen a weapon.

Cops caught him about a 1/4 mile away stopped on the side of the road counting out his winnings. True genius!

January 18, 2006, 03:16 PM
I'd also throw physical fitness in the equation


January 18, 2006, 09:01 PM
Right on to situational awareness. Also, physical fitness has always been a priority for me, and has served me well. I like picpockets order. Makes sense.

January 18, 2006, 10:46 PM
I've already been accused of not getting my happy nap today, . . . so I can be the meany for a while.

I would make mindset the number one priority. Without the will to do what needs to be done, . . . all the training, equipment, ammo, and awareness won't do squat for you.

Ask anyone who has been in hot shooting situations, they'll tell you about the guys in their squad, platoon, team, etc. that just froze, . . . could not do it, . . . just didn't have the mind set. Most of them never get that mind set either. Some will simply hesitate on what to do, . . . some cry, . . . some run away screaming, . . . some just get that 1000 yard stare in a 10 foot room, . . . but they don't pull the trigger.

Yes, training can make a difference some of the time, . . . but I really believe that the willingness (not eagerness, . . . just willingness) to take another's life to preserve one's own life is something that some people simply don't have.

It needs to be the first question decided by anyone doing CCW.

Just my thoughts based on 17 years in Uncle Sam's military.

May God bless,

January 18, 2006, 10:48 PM
This probably falls under the "tactics" category, but...

* being able to accurately shoot and move and take cover.
* ability to manipulate weapon under stress with weak & dominant hands.

Shooting IDPA recently has put a whole new pespective on shooting for myself. Being able to make small groups on a static range is very easy, but shooting a realistic course of fire while moving, reloading, IDing targets, counting shots, and taking cover will humble the tight groups you get on a static range.

It's also awesome to watch seasoned shooters and learn from their techniques. I feel anyone who carries should try it. It really is humbling.

January 18, 2006, 10:57 PM
I'm with Dwight having the will to fight is going to be the tie breaker in many if not most engagements. Having the will to fight begins with having the tools to fight with

Situational awareness would be second but I would also lump that in with tactics. Knowing how to avoid a fight is as important as knowing how to finish one

Training comes next. You can be aware of the fact that you are about to get your ass handed to you, but it does you no good if you don't have the knowledge of how to deal with the situation

January 18, 2006, 11:48 PM
Situational awareness is less about knowing what's going to happen than it is you always being aware of everything around you to the point that the little hairs standing up and the voice inside your head tells you: "Hey man, something ain't right...step lightly."

Situational awareness is being peripherally aware of everything around you, how every thing is interacting with every other thing, and disruptions in the normal rhythms of your environment. Don't know any other way to explain it, and it takes tons of practice.

If you have a "flight" mindset, having highly developed SA will often preclude your needing to react or being put in a position where you may have to act against your natural tendency to freeze up.

One thing to keep in mind, everything on the list EXCEPT mindset/disposition can be taught.

Chris Phelps
January 19, 2006, 09:27 AM
I'd also throw physical fitness in the equation

Speaking as the fat boy in the room... fitness means NOTHING in a SD situation. If it did, it wouldnt matter if women were CCW or not... they would always lose. After all, that is in fact the reason the majority of them carry to begin with. And fat people like me? Yeah, we would be doomed too.

January 19, 2006, 09:45 AM
For the LEO or civilian carrying CC, Situational Awareness goes hand in hand with Tactics and Mindset. These three elements are all part of the concept of Thinking Tactically, not separate skills.

Weapons Proficency comes next.

Least important are weapon choice, caliber, and capacity...

January 19, 2006, 10:25 AM
Speaking as the fat boy in the room... fitness means NOTHING in a SD situation. .

Hmmmmm....What about moving to cover? Well-trained folks are always "scoping out" potential cover spots...So if you're a couch potato who gets winded getting up from the dinner table, that may handicap ya if ya have to seek cover QUICKLY...Not to mention large, slow-moving targets draw fire and are engaged quite easily...


If it did, it wouldnt matter if women were CCW or not... they would always lose.

Different strokes for different folks...

Seems there are 14,237 different scenarios discussed in this forum, and it seems like most of the folks who mention tactics and situational awareness have it...

Like I said, fitness can save you're life...When the time comes, it helps to be able to move fast

And fat people like me? Yeah, we would be doomed too.

Maybe...Maybe not, but a slow-moving, large target...

Sorry if I offended, but just my little old .02


Chris Phelps
January 19, 2006, 12:57 PM
Sorry if I misunderstood. Fitness, to me, has nothing to do with speed. I am fat, but I move extremely fast... especially when a situation like this arrises. I will definitly agree with the fact that the ability to move fast could save your life, but I am the perfect example that just because you are fast doesnt mean you are fit, and vice versa.

January 19, 2006, 02:43 PM
But I'm here to tell you that I've seen some pretty fat people move pretty damn quick once you send a couple of hot ones in their direction.

Just my observation :)

January 19, 2006, 04:03 PM
Speaking as the fat boy in the room....Hmmmmm....What about moving to cover?...

Fat people ARE cover. :p

Az Qkr
January 19, 2006, 09:26 PM
"But I'm here to tell you that I've seen some pretty fat people move pretty damn quick once you send a couple of hot ones"

Isn't that the truth:D LMAO

Robin Brown

January 19, 2006, 11:01 PM
Funny, I look at physical fitness more in terms of strength and speed and not just speed. A few months back I was working one night and this crazy drunk comes behind the counter and into the back room where I am. He pushes me, then puts both of his hands on my neck, trying to strangle me. I brought my left arm up and over his arms while his hands were on my neck so that my left croseed over the top of both of his arms (I hope I am describing this correctly, its easier to show than to write), then elbowed him in the jaw, knocking him back while simulatneously and effectively loosening his grip on me. If what I am writing seems confusing, martial arts guys who studied jiu jitsu will recognize this as the stopping a strangle hold technique they teach early on in training. I grabbed the guy by the shirt and literally dragged him out of the store. I never considered pulling out the S&W 340PD snubbie I had in my pocket. Good thing too. I didn't think my life was in danger because I was confidant I had the strength and ability to toss him. I think fitness definitely has a place in SD.

Az Qkr
January 19, 2006, 11:06 PM
I teach little old ladies and men SD who live in gated communities as snowbirds in the winter months pretty regularly.

They find very quickly that strength does not enter the equation as much as techniques that use leverage and pressure points, or soft body targets.

The only problem I have is keeping the wives from beating the crap out of their husbands after they are in class.:D

They feel empowered. You'd be surprised how many are walking around here with a wooden dowel thats 6 inches long and 3/8" diameter. ;)

I take a beating every class, and I do mean a beating. My throat is so sore for days after that if I don't stop I'm afraid there will be permanent repercussions from it. And that no crap, they beat the hell out of me. I get them mad, then they are dangerous.

Robin Brown

January 20, 2006, 01:25 AM
mind set if you want to live getrr done

be slow, but in a hurry. Wyatt Eurp

January 20, 2006, 01:57 AM
Fat people ARE cover.

Hahaha...reminds me of a conversation I once had. Kinda illustrates how a little of-center some of us are :)

[Me:] Come here, Marine
[Young Marine:] Yes Sergeant!
[Me:] Why are you not using the terrain as cover while you move?
[Young Marine:] I don't know, sergeant.
[Me:] Do you know what micro-terrain is, son?
[Young Marine:] Yes, sergeant.
[Me:] Use it in a sentence!
[Young Marine:] Umm....Ummm.....
[Me:] GODDAMMIT boy! HERE: Micro-terrain is what you become when you get KILLED because you were not using COVER during your MOVEMENT! When you DIE, you will become micro-terrain for the rest of your squad to hide behind!!

Hmm...maybe that's not funny to anyone but me....LOL

Az Qkr
January 20, 2006, 02:28 AM

You know full well that I found that damned hilarious.;)

Marine humor is not just humor, it has meaning and lessons which if one were smart, not only laughed at it but learned from it.

As it has been since 1775 and as it shall be forever if I know the men who follow our footsteps today sir.:)

Theres a lesson in that humor folks, perk up and take notes:eek:

Semper Fi--Do or die jarhead

Robin Brown

Blackwater OPS
January 20, 2006, 04:40 AM
All of the marksmanship, tactics, mindset ect. won't do you much good if you get shot from behind due to a lack of Situational Awareness.

January 21, 2006, 04:03 AM
by situational awareness do you mean horse sense , yes for me it was God given but courage and valor I had to learn.

January 21, 2006, 06:11 PM
By Situational Awareness I mean......situational awareness.

January 21, 2006, 08:35 PM
please excuse my ignorance. thanks for not burning me to a crisp. :o

January 21, 2006, 09:58 PM
training and tactics are important tools for military and law enforcement, and that spills over in the civilian world. but I know the race car driver unwittenly uses situational awareness in his profession. but that does not imply that they would make ideal driver ed instructors, well maybe in the big cities. but anyway for me, it comes down to having the the ability to pull the trigger at the crucial moment if you can't you should'nt carry. as civilians we don't have a licence to kill so we need to be conscerned with the justification of the shoot and this could cause hesitation. threats are not always black and white, and no situation is the same. I think while s.a. is a important tool there are other issues of importance.

January 21, 2006, 11:15 PM
Then, my friend, I would submit that you have never had to rely on your S.A. to save your life.

Take a moment and re-read both the thread and the original post...the discussion is about identifying some key concepts (in order of magnitude) as relates to self-defense and firearms, especially CCW.

If you believe something to trump S.A. or any of the other areas we've identified thus far, feel free to elaborate in addition to simply playing devil's advocate.

January 21, 2006, 11:47 PM
prehaps not, but god and horse sense have. when it's time to go, it's time to go.

January 24, 2006, 02:27 AM
well I guess there's no need to beat a dumb horse

Az Qkr
January 24, 2006, 02:33 AM
"for me, it comes down to having the the ability to pull the trigger at the crucial moment.

Without situational awareness, you may never get the chance to find out if you can or not.

Robin Brown

January 24, 2006, 02:44 AM
I will talk to some of my friends and family in law enforcement about this S.A. thing I realize I have much to learn. instead of jibjab I should have gone for stupid red neck.

Az Qkr
January 24, 2006, 02:46 AM
Good SA is basically intel.

The more intel you have, the sooner you have it, the better you should be able to formulate the decision to have to react and be ready to fire.

Just a thought.

Robin Brown

January 24, 2006, 02:57 AM
well that's all fine and dandy as long as you don't spend to much time assessing your situation. some times to much information can cause an over load. and that can lead to the end of story.

January 24, 2006, 03:12 AM
okay how about "stupid stuburn red neck" :)

January 24, 2006, 11:27 AM
I also feel that situational awareness is important, but mindset is the number one for me. I've had to run for my life before, NOT FUN! I used to have to walk through some pretty rough areas as a kid in Massachusetts. The mindset is important in ANY self defense situation. My options as a kid were pretty limited, fist fighting, or running my ass off. Since I was a fast kid, but skinny and not much in a fight, I decided pretty early on to run my ass off if that option was available.

Here's where physical fitness comes into play. Fat kids who wouldn't fight were usually the targets of choice. They'd normally never fight back (lack of the will to win) and they didn't even really HAVE the option to run (lack of physical fitness due to hours in front of the TV).

If you think middle school and high school bullies are a different animal than your common thug bad guy, think again. They have many of the same motivations and tactics.

SA has kept me from several beatings. I had the ability to see high threat areas and potential ambushes and avoided them. In some cases, the difference between a beating and a cold stare was simply crossing the street at the right moment. Physical fitness ALSO kept me from a few beatings. The ability to play track star is a GREAT option to have. Options are nice to have, even if you never need them. Better to HAVE it and not need it than NEED it and not have it.

You also need to have the ability to be one mean dude. I got out of a crappy situation in which I was being robbed at knife point in 9th grade by telling the dude with the knife to f*** off in a mean voice. Bad guys don't typically like a target that fights back, especially when there are much easier targets lined up. This goes to mindset, as well as situational awareness. You need the SA to make a sound judgement call on when to do what, and the mindset to actually tell someone putting you in a bad situation where to stick it.

Another factor of SA is knowing things ahead of time, such as who resides in certain neighborhoods. I was able to avoid some nasty situations by simply being in good with the right people in the right neighborhoods. This may not be an option for most people, but it was certainly nice to be able to get along with people who resided in these neighborhoods and have people I knew there.

Now, I don't mean to come off as a badass or anything, but these are my experiences from before I escaped the People's Republic of Massachusetts.

January 27, 2006, 07:50 PM
many elements of training have to come together, but pressure, it changes everything, can you summon your training and tactical skills at a moments notice, can you focus, will you really have heart when it gets real. JMO