Realities of armed self-defense

Posted on: December 14, 2015

Take a look at this video. Then, watch it again.

At first, you’re like, “Hey, awesome! One more dirt bag off the streets!” And you might be right about that. However, once you’ve watched it more than once and you start actually thinking it through, you see at least a few mistakes.

Granted, as we go along here we have to remember that the only information available is what we’re seeing in the video. There might be far more going on that what we’re seeing. But, what is shown is somewhat troubling.

First, how long is the bad guy just standing there in a mask and no one seemingly notices? None of the employees, at least the ones we can see in the frame, appear to notice the mask. Neither do the other customers in the frame. Look, if you’re out and about and you see ANYONE enter a store wearing a mask, unless it is bone-chilling cold outside, expect that things are about to take a turn. Similarly, if you’re an employee and you see a guy like that enter the store, do all involved a favor and start dialing 911 now. From what we can see, poor situational awareness.

Next, bad guy pulls a pistol and points it at the employees. In response, a pharmacist from behind the camera’s view steps forward, pulls his own pistol, and opens fire on the bad guy, hitting him at least twice. But, look closer.

As the pharmacist opens fire, he has two, possibly more, employees almost in his own line of fire.

The first bullet appears to go through the bad guy and shatter the window behind him, with a possibility of hitting someone out in the parking lot.

As he follows the bad guy to the right, the pharmacist fires again. This is in the same direction as we saw at least one bystander run immediately before he started shooting. If you follow his line of sight, it doesn’t look like the bad guy went very far. It is unclear whether the bad guy just collapsed or if there is a wall or something preventing him from going further.

Worth noting, too, is that the bad guy took two solid hits to center mass and kept right on moving. Thankfully, his efforts were concentrated on escape at that point, rather than returning fire.

While the pharmacist took down a bad guy, by doing so in this manner he endangered several other people. Tactical shooting is far different than just sending some lead downrange on a sunny Saturday afternoon with your buddies. If you carry a firearm for self-defense, you owe it not just to yourself but to everyone else to seek out the proper training for using it effectively and safely.

The real world isn’t like Hollywood, folks. When you shoot someone, they don’t necessarily just drop to the ground immediately. Your target doesn’t always stop the bullet. By their very nature, armed confrontations like this don’t happen in controlled environments. There is a great big wide world around you and can and will be affected by your actions.

Let me close by saying this — I’m not condemning the pharmacist for what he did. However, I think there are lessons that can be learned from what we see in the video. Keep your head up and your eyes open, people.

6 thoughts on “Realities of armed self-defense

  1. I did watch the video several times. I work in corrections, in a prison.
    It looks to me like the masked man actually may have fired several rounds at the pharmacist.
    It also looks to me like the pharmacist was aware of the robbers for at least a few seconds prior to pulling out his own gun and perhaps the pharmacist used those seconds to scan the background area on the other side of the window.
    If he was a man who intended to use his weapon he may just have rehearsed this scenario, in his mind, a thousand times…….who knows. Rehearsal is extremely valuable and allows a person to perform adequately on the spur of the moment.
    Given what I see in this video, I would have done as the pharmacist did.
    He was likely well aware that the cusromers sitting down would freeze in place.
    All in all I am delighted that he shot the worthless bastard. There are far too many worthless scum punks in this world.

  2. I understand and for the most part agree with your point about bystander safety. And again, there’s a whole lot we DON’T know about how this particular situation played out, a lot that the camera didn’t see.

    Believe me, I’m all for concealed carry. My only concern is far too many people, in my experience at least, strap on a handgun and figure they’re good to go without a lick of training outside of hitting the range twice a year. If you’re going to carry a firearm, the onus is on you to know how to use it safely and effectively.

  3. While the author had a very good point about situational awareness (or the lack of it), I’m inclined to agree with Taxn that bystander safety can be THE overarching concern. Yes, a carrier needs to be careful in aiming and considering shot directions. However, there is a bad guy with a gun, willing to shoot those innocent bystanders — quite unconcerned about safety. The pharmacist MIGHT have hurt a bystander. The robber PLANNED to.

    The cautious tone of the article sounds like one commentator on TV trying to discredit the idea of citizens carrying to defend against mass shooters. His argument was that an untrained ‘professional’ is more likely to make mistakes and maybe hurt someone. Sure, it’s possible. But how is being totally unarmed such an improvement? The mass-shooter PLANS to hurt a lot of someones.

    Perhaps, instead of politicians and pundits advocating ‘free college’ for everyone, they should be insisting on free defensive firearm training.

  4. Who gives a rat’s crack about a bullet going through the window? Who gives a tinker’s damn about employees that are frozen with fear and don’t have enough common sense to get out of the line of fire. The bottom line is the fact that a man with a pair in his pants, a brain in his head, and a backbone to connect the two stood up to a thug and took the bastard down. That is all that matters, and anyone that disagrees with this is no better than the wasted orgasm wearing the mask. Articles like this place doubt in people’s mind and that is a terrible mistake. Concealed carry people do need training: Idiots that don’t carry also need to be trained to at least have the common sense to drop to the floor and get out of the line of fire.

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