What’s The Context?

When choosing a hunting handgun, for instance, we examine different criteria than when selecting a carry handgun. Same goes for your training. If you’re trying to learn how to defend yourself at the local mall, doing carbine courses with a chest rig and an AR won’t really help you. The reality is there are a handful of basic skills involved, but those basics need to be mastered in either case. Training resources like time, money and ammunition need to be spent on developing these basic skills until they can be called on reliably in an emergency.

I have been investigating shooting incidents for over 40 years. In private citizen self-defense shootings, we see the same things coming up, over and over. I dislike the term “average shooting” as the term is meaningless. To have averages, you take big numbers and small numbers and mash them together. The result is usually misleading. For instance, if you look at two shootings involving students of mine, one was shot at 22 yards, the other at 11 shots at 4 yards. Their average would be six shots at 13 yards, which isn’t even close to either incident. I prefer the term “typical shooting.” “Typical” means we’re seeing the same things occur, over and over, in many different defensive circumstances.

What we continually see in private citizen defensive shootings as the root cause is one of the 4 R’s: Robbery, Rape, Road Rage or Respect. By far, the most common circumstance is an armed robbery. Whether someone is sticking up your small business, robbing you in the parking lot, demanding your car keys at gunpoint or kicking in your door while armed, these are all just variations of armed robbery.