4 Scenarios to Get the Tactical Advantage

Attacker grabbing young boy

The right of self-defense is among the most basic of human rights, and the majority of us own, and/or carry a firearm to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Depending on the state you live in, you may be able to obtain a CCW permit and take on the additional responsibility of self-defense. However, having a firearm and the law on your side does not automatically translate into good self-defense. You’ll need situational awareness, quick reactions, solid weapons handling skills, and a good outcome in the event of a violent attack. But first, you’ll need plan and train yourself to respond effectively to a threat in several common scenarios can vastly improve your chances of surviving and eliminating the threat.

Car Jacking Get-Away Tactics
As long as your wheels are turning and you’re moving, you increase your chances of survival during an attempted carjacking — even if other vehicles are in the way.

Here are four scenarios that once mastered, will serve as the basics that you can modify and rely on later should you find yourself in a self-defense situation.

Scenario 1

You’re walking in a parking garage, descending a flight of steps, and an attacker confronts you.

Elements to Remember

  • Mindset: If you don’t think you can use deadly force, don’t carry a firearm. Instead, opt for a less than lethal option such as a taser, pepper spray or CQB striking device, and do not concern yourself with the remainder of this article.
  • Clothing for Concealed Carry: Wear a loose shirt or jacket that allows you to easily access your weapon. It’s best to sew in a small weight into the hem of the shirt, so when you sweep it back it will swing out of the way and not interfere with the draw. Loose change in a jacket pocket also works well.
  • Practice: Run through this scenario drawing and firing with an unloaded weapon until you can do it smoothly in 2-4 seconds. IDPA matches at a local range require you to draw from concealment and make excellent practice for real world variations of this practice.

Scenario 2

Driving in a vehicle and facing a carjacking or road rage incident.

Elements to Remember

  • Mindset: Always be aware of your surroundings when stopped at a light, parked, or driving slowly through an alley or behind stores where an attacker can surprise you. Drive through ATMs, especially at night, have you in a funnel where you can easily be trapped. Think about how an assailant might attack, and be aware of what is around or behind the you. If you cannot easily turn to see behind you, do not be afraid to use the car’s backup camera if so equipped.
  • Clothing: Don’t carry on your person where interference from a seatbelt or your elbow hitting the seat as you attempt to draw can hinder your ability to access your weapon. However, if you are carrying on your person, all hope is not lost. The Shooter’s Log recently ran a video showing, while not ideal, how to draw and engage from this situation.
  • Vehicle Attachments: Consider a gun magnet which can be easily mounted near the steering wheel for a quick grab/draw.

Scenario 3

Attacker grabbing young boy
You witness a kidnapping in the local park. Is it ok to use deadly force?

While walking, an attacker approaches and attacks from behind.

Elements to Remember

  • In this scenario, traditional advice has been to clasp your keys like a weapon to strike an attacker, or to throw them far away from you in hopes of giving yourself time to run. This assumes the attack is a carjacking. What if it’s a violent personal assault or a kidnapping? Never carry your keys in your gun hand; always keep them in your support hand. Likewise, if you are on the phone, hold it in your support hand.
  • Instead of turning away from your car to confront the attacker, immediately turn inside and either drop or throw your keys directly at him with your support hand, while simultaneously drawing your weapon with your gun hand.
  • If you are carrying groceries, a purse, workout bag, laptop, cellphone, etc., use it as a weapon of distraction by hurling it at your attacker as hard and as quickly as possible.

Scenario 4

Entering or exiting your car when an attacker is close enough to grab you.

Elements to Remember

  • You are at your most vulnerable entering or exiting your vehicle. Stop, look around and assess the situation before getting out. When pulling into your garage, close the door before unlocking or getting out of your vehicle. Knowing your surroundings, noticing who’s around you and their body language and staying in the “condition yellow” cautionary awareness is crucial.
  • If someone approaches you under the ruse of asking for directions, spare change, etc. and manages to get hands on you, push or kick violently against the attacker to offset their balance enough that you can access your handgun and shoot from retention. This is when having the proper gear is critical. A holster that allows your gun to fall out or is too difficult for you to manipulate under pressure could prove disastrous.

The Tactical Advantage

Ultimately, carrying a concealed weapon is an enormous responsibility that requires you to understand your skill set and be prepared to use deadly force (carrying a round in the chamber). You must also have good weapons handling instruction, so you don’t become a victim of your own gun. Practice regularly at the shooting range until acquiring a sight picture, drawing and firing is committed to muscle memory. Staying in the “yellow” cautionary mindset, and rehearse every step, so if the time ever comes, you could maintain the tactical advantage that saves your life.

Take advantage of your rights.

What scenarios do practice or have committed to memory? What elements would you add to these scenarios? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (12)

  1. Practice drawing from concealment is the most important thing
    Most ranges do not allow drawing from a holster and then emptying a magazine into one or multiple targets
    Here in Souh Florida, Revere Range has one stall where drawing and shooting is allowed
    Judging from all the holes in the floor and ceiling, lots of people need to practice this skill!

  2. I consider carrying a firearm as a great responsibly. Therefore, I take classes to prepare me for “what if”? Just because you have a concealed permit, doesn’t mean you are ready for a violent encounter. If you are not in the proper mindset, with some sort of ongoing training, you will “freeze” when the time comes to defend yourself or your loved ones. The worst thing I could think of is that the weapon that you thought you are carrying to defend yourself gets taken away and used on you!! Training, Practice, Training!!!

  3. If I am in a stairwell and someone confronts me who is below me they are going to get a little of what Charlie Murphy gave to Rick James! I’m putting my foot in their chest and kicking them down the stairs!

  4. Good article with the exception of the part about if you’re talking to keep your phone in your support hand. Put the phone away when you’re transiting through an area where you might be attacked. Being distracted talking on the phone takes away from your situational awareness and covers up some of your peripheral vision making you an easier target.

  5. In today’s world situational awareness and awareness of what is going on around you will help you to be safe. Some of the things mentioned in this article make sense but do not necessarily fit what really happens in most situations. One thing a person might want to consider to do is to wear some form of 2nd Amendment or NRA hat which is a subtle message to anyone who thinks about approaching you with questionable motives. I have a CCW and carry most of the time and about 20 or so hats like the one that says “Due to the cost of ammo, we no longer fire warnings shots”. I have had many positive comments from pro second amendment folks, and glances from folks who are trying to read what the hat says and then simply move on. Most of the hats have a firearm somewhere on the front or an NRA lettering. Can’t say for sure if it actually works but I believe it would give someone pause as to whether I would shoot them or not if they attacked me and I assure you I would.

  6. I tend to carry to protect those around me, more than personal defense. Being an older special forces guy, I’m usually confident of my ability to defend myself in most situations. I am fearful for those who are not trained and do not carry. I am very situationally aware, and am pretty vigilant where deemed necessary. I will not allow ne’er-do-wells’ to infringe on anothers well being. This is why I carry. Not a trigger happy gun nut, just tired of good people being put in life or death situations while others watch. I wont just watch.

    1. 70s Ops – Thank you. We need to have teachers or individuals like you that are allowed to carry in schools.
      Thank you for your service!

    2. Right on. Too bad there are so many in the “not trained and do not carry” group. They won’t even take responsibility for their own personal safety! This is an attitude I cannot understand. I guess they live in some sort of La-La Land where nothing bad can happen to them. The hell of it is they don’t leave it at that, they want to prevent us from doing it as well! I think, deep down, it shames them that they don’t have the guts to face reality themselves.

    3. Well said 70’s Ops! I too am prepared to protect myself and those around me if the situation warrants it by any means, ALWAYS aware of your surroundings.

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