By Sheriff Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated
Have you ever noticed that when two, or more, people witness something scary or threatening, they seem to step closer together? I suppose that is just human nature, and we seek safety in numbers. But, for you and your armed partner, that can be a real mistake when you are faced with a violent criminal attack. Just about the last thing you want to do is to create one target for your attacker.
Creating distance is nearly always a good thing when crooks force a gunfight on you. Even when alone, you move as you draw your handgun in order to cause attackers to redirect their aim and, thereby, buy you time to respond. When working with your partner, your movement causes attackers to have to decide which one to direct their fire towards. Again, that buys you a bit of time to make an effective response.
As with anything involving personal defense, movement requires practice in order for it to be effective. You and your partner may simply move laterally, creating a larger gap between the two of you. Or you may move at angles to take advantage of available cover or to deal with the particular terrain that the fight occurs in. With practice, you and your partner have a better idea of what the other is going to do and where you are going to end up. The thing to be avoided, obviously, is to stay out of each other’s line of fire. Discussion and practice will make your movements more effective.
Even before guns are drawn and shooting occurs, one of you may verbally engage the threat, causing the bad guy to focus on you. At the same time, your partner steps into a flanking position. When you are able to do this, you have really spoiled the crook’s day and removed just about any advantage he or she might have had.
If you’re a man and your partner is a woman, the crook’s initial focus is nearly always going to be on you. He or she will likely consider the man to be the greatest threat to overcome. With a bit of planning, an armed woman can easily create a flanking movement that can end up creating quite a surprise for crooks.
In short, when faced with a criminal attack, we should always think about movement and the advantages that it creates for us. When working with an armed partner, it is especially effective. Discuss, plan, and practice movement—it’s a great defensive technique.
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