Back? Good. What we have here is the story of a young man who borrowed a friend’s car to run to the grocery store after dark. As the intended victim opened his car door, a panhandler approached him asking for money. The victim said no and the panhandler turned to walk away. As the victim got out of the driver’s seat, his attention was focused on the leaving panhandler. That’s when another man grabbed him from behind and held a knife to his throat. The pandhandler then came back to join in the robbery.
Here’s how the intended victim describes what happened next: “I grabbed the knife and pulled it away from my neck. After a brief struggle, I managed to push him away allowing me to create a few feet of distance, where I was able to draw my revolver from concealment and to fire in defense as he came back towards me with the knife.”
One criminal died at the scene, while the other ran away. The intended victim did get a cut on his neck during the fight, and was treated and released with stitches.
- When I first learned to drive on a rural road, my dad taught me this: “Deer travel in packs. If you see one deer, slow down and look for the other one. If you see two deer, slow down and look for the third.” So it is with criminals. Bad guys have friends too. If you spot one person who gives you the creeps, congratulate yourself on your good awareness. Now look around to see if you can spot his buddy.
- Avoid getting task-fixated to the point where you sacrifice your own safety. The victim in this case was focused on the task of getting out of the car so he could get what he needed from the store. He didn’t stop to reassess his plan after the panhandler approached. Should he have? (Note: it takes a lot of time to describe in words something that probably happened in less than two seconds. Also, this.)
- If you need to make a decision, make a decision. Don’t just stand there and dither. This man is alive because he made a firm decision and did not hesitate to carry it out. Was it the right decision? Yup; he’s alive and went home to his family that night. Could another decision have also been the right decision, under the same set of circumstances? Maybe. That’s the way life is. We will never know what would have happened if. We only know what did happen. What did happen was that he was faced with a choice, he made a choice, and he did not hesitate to carry out his choice. And he survived.
- Very few self-defense incidents happen at seven yards. Most happen a lot closer than that, and many require some skills for retrieving the gun from its holster despite a physical challenge. If you carry off-body, you would have little chance of drawing the gun in a situation like this. If you carry on-body, your odds are better. You improve your odds if you have practiced how to get out of entangled positions and how to draw from them.
- The victim reported that he did not realize he’d been cut until after the incident was over. That’s fairly common under the influence of adrenaline. After an incident, look at yourself to see if you are bleeding anywhere. Don’t rely on shaky nerves to do that job for you; those nerves have been overloaded and might not bother telling you about it. Use your eyes to check yourself for injuries.