Be aware of your threat/target, be aware of those around you…


“The preliminary indications are that this is going to be a ‘friendly fire’ incident,” said Victor Senties, a Houston police spokesman.

Read More at Gunshot leaves officer injured after SW Houston chase – Houston Chronicle.

This isn’t a reflection on a particular agency. It’s just the latest such incident. Fortunately, this officer will survive. I know of at least one officer involved shooting in which one officer ended up shooting his own partner in the back of the head, killing him instantly. The incident led to changes in policy and training for that agency. But the lessons here apply to all of us who go armed.

Knowing your target and what’s beyond is a cardinal rule of gun handling. But, People have a strange tendency to get excited in shootings. As a result, they don’t all  stand still waiting to be shot or allowing you to conveniently re-orient yourself around them to engage a threat. They may run right into you or, in the case of fratricide I mentioned earlier, someone could stand right up in front of your muzzle as you’re breaking a shot.

We can’t make the world hold still conveniently for us to shoot an orderly array of targets those we see on the range. But we can and should seek training that exposes us to a reasonable approximation of what can and does happen in the real world. People are often willing to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new gun but, wince at the idea of spending that same amount on training that might help them avoid negligently shooting an innocent bystander, family member, or friend should they find it necessary to use deadly force in their home, office, or in public.  We as civilians are not immune to these issues as at least one CHL holder learned the hard way several years ago in a Family Dollar store in Houston.

Be honest with yourself. plan and train accordingly.


Situational Awareness can mean avoiding a fight altogether

A short while ago, Jason Berry, our LE contributor, posted a video on our FB page of a woman being attacked in her driveway. That video seems to have been staged to promote self-defense training. It was also in another country but, there are valid lessons to be gleaned even from that video. In contrast, the video I’ve posted here is not staged. It is local to the Mission Bend area of southwest Houston.

In this case, the driver noticed a white Honda CRV passing him by as he pulled into his driveway. As a rule, if something doesn’t feel right, go with your gut. Usually if something feels wrong, it is wrong. And for this driver, something felt wrong so we see him investigating his surroundings.

Sure enough, the CRV does a three-point turn in the street (off camera) and pulls into the driveway. The driver runs back to his car. That motion alone appears to convince the CRV occupants that they have somewhere else to be. The driver notes that the occupants of the CRV most likely thought he was “loaded” and ready for them. Not knowing this driver from a hill of beans, I can’t tell you if he carries a gun or not. He clearly states he’s been robbed before and is not new to the game. As a practical matter, I can tell you that it would be better to have a gun than to risk having someone call your bluff.

Still, a major deciding factor in this incident remains the fact the driver had enough situational awareness to see trouble coming. He put himself in a position to be ahead of the curve and watched his surroundings with purpose. This stands in contrast to the staged video where we see an example of behavior we see in robberies every day. The driver is  distracted and completely unaware of her surroundings, allowing time for the bad guys to sneak up behind her. It’s great if you can fight and it’s great if you carry a gun (assuming you actually train to use it) but, it’s all for naught if mentally, you are still a grasseater, with your head down and no clue what’s going on around you.