I am a big believer in having your firearms and self-defense training reflect the real-world threats that wait outside your comfort zone. When you look at the events in Paris, (Charlie Hebdo in January and the most recent attack in November) combined with the attack on the Police Officer in Philadelphia last week and the events in Jakarta and Africa this week, it is clear that Preparing for an Active Shooter/Terrorist attack should be foremost in your firearms and self-defense training schedule.
So what are some drills that you should include?
- Engaging Multiple Targets
It is clear that the Terrorist MO is to work in small armed groups. All of the major attacks indicate this: Mumbai, Paris, Jakarta, Africa. Remember to SCAN your environment, keeping your head on a SWIVEL. Drill on engaging multiple targets at different distances and from different positions. Keep in mind to instigate mag changes at various points and work on SMOOTH reloads. The more bad guys you engage, the more rounds you shoot and the more chance your gun is gonna go “click” instead of “bang” at the moment you need it the worst. Believe it or not in a fight, your gun goes dry a lot faster than in drills:..:)
- Shooting One Handed with Dominant and Non-Dominant Hands
The Philadelphia Policeman Shooting proved the tried and true belief that in a large percentage of self-defense shootings, you are highly likely to be wounded either in the arm or hand. The Philly shooting also shows that in a vehicle ambush scenario, since your left side is always in close-proximity to a window, your left arm is more than likely to be hit in an exchange, rendering it useless to be used as a support hand either with a long gun or sidearm if you are right-handed. If you are left-handed, this means you Dominant shooting hand would be Out-of-Commission. This brings up two things to train for: Shooting One Handed with your dominant shooting hand and shooting one-handed with you Non-Dominant shooting hand.
- Fighting From In or Around Vehicles
I have always held the belief that you should train to fight in the environments you will most likely find yourself in. Now with an active shooter that could be anywhere and everywhere, but for the average American, since we spend a large majority of our time commuting to work and at work, there is a high probability an attack could happen during this time. Add to this fact the probability of a carjacking, and the ideal of learning to train to fight in and around vehicles starts to become very logical indeed.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about a couple other things to keep in mind:
- Movement & Cover
In all your drills do not forget to incorporate MOVEMENT. The footage of the Philly Cop shooting one-handed while wounded and moving toward the suspect was a classic example of something to train for. Could you shoot one-handed while being wounded in the arm, shooting at a moving target while moving forward yourself and score hits?That is the kind of stuff I am talking about; let reality dictate your training goals, not “fantasy” training.
One of the other things I urge you to do is incorporate LATERAL movement to COVER (if possible) in your drills. Always thinking about these two things: Movement and Cover in your drills is very important. I will never forget the advice I received as a young, green pup: “A Moving Target is Harder to Hit, Especially when it moves behind something that STOPS bullets!” Remember, one of the key things Colonel Boyd taught us is that in a fight, regardless of what type a fight it is; gun, fist, knife, whatever, your main goal should be to INTERRUPT your opponents OODA Loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act). By moving, even just a small amount in a fight, you accomplish that, because you force your opponent to refocus his intent, which could be anything from gaining a sight picture or trying to stab you in the gut with a shiv; point being, you buy yourself crucial TIME to ACT while your Opponent is trying to REACT to you.
- Understanding Combat Shooting
Always Stay Realistic when you are doing these types of drills; yeah you may not be able to shoot the “bullseye” out, but Remember: We are talking about “Combat Shooting” here, NOT “Target Shooting” your goal is to hit the target with combat effective hits while not being hit yourself; in short, to kill the enemy. Now typically “Combat Effective” hits means Center-of-Mass or Head shots, but not always. In the Philly Officers case, shooting the attacker in the ass was “Combat Effective” because it slowed the attacker down long enough for other officers to arrest him. Now should we train to shoot our attackers in the ass? Of course not, my point is that every Situation is going to be different, Bottom Line: ANY Hit on the Attacker is going to be GOOD for You and BAD for them, but always shoot to KILL and not to WOUND when your life is at stake.
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!