Defending Yourself when You’re Outnumbered

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

There’s an old saw about how coyotes travel in packs. That’s not referring to the unlucky cartoon character that can’t seem to catch a roadrunner, or even to the wild animals, who do, indeed, travel in packs, like most dogs. Rather, it’s referring to those who don’t have the guts to stand up to danger on their own. Granted, it’s always a good idea to have backup, when you can; but the kind of coyote we’re talking about here isn’t a law-abiding citizen defending themselves, but a criminal attacking innocents.

Criminals have learned that it makes good tactical sense to work together. Even though working with a partner or two means they have to split the take, it also increases their chances of survival, should they end up in a scuffle with their intended victim. While there are still plenty of criminals who work alone, many more work with a partner or two.

What this means for you and I is that if someone kicks open our door or decides to rob the restaurant where we’re eating, chances are they won’t be alone. They will most likely be accompanied by one accomplice and may even be accompanied by two.

There’s a big difference between getting in a gunfight with one other person and getting into one with two or three. How do you defeat multiple bad guys, when they have you outnumbered and have the drop on you?

This might sound like something for the movies, but it really is possible to beat two or three armed criminals, if you keep your cool and think the situation through. Proper planning and execution is essential to winning that battle, as well as having practiced enough that you can be sure that you’ll land your shots.

While it may seem that you need to take action immediately, you actually need to stop a minute and think. You’re already in a situation where they have the advantage, so moving too quickly isn’t going to gain you a thing. Save moving quickly for the time when it will do you some good; that is, once you are ready.

Before that, you have to prioritize your targets. More than anything, this is deciding which ones are the greatest threat to you. Those are the ones which you need to take out first. Look for:

  • Who is the closest
  • Who is acting the most aggressively (probably the leader)
  • Who is facing you, rather than facing another direction
  • Who you can take aim at, without having to turn your body
  • Who is the most exposed, rather than under cover

After evaluating those key elements, put together your plan of action. Ideally, you want to eliminate the greatest threats first; the ones who are closest, facing you, and acting the most aggressively. But you also need to consider who you have the greatest chances of hitting quickly and putting them out of action.

Once you have determined the order of your targets, the next key is to plan out your moves. How much do you need to turn to make each shot? Do you need to move laterally? Can you move to cover? Will you need to reload before putting two rounds into each target?

With that in order, all that’s left is timing. Criminals will usually be the most keyed-up when they first confront you. The longer the situation continues, the more relaxed they will be, especially if they think they have control of the situation. That will slow their reactions. Then all you need is a distraction; something that will take their attention long enough for you to draw your pistol and put your plan into action.

Timing is critical when facing multiple assailants. You have to perform a series of moves and take a series of shots and they have to be exact. But that plan might change, as you await the moment. The bad guys might move, putting two of them in the same sight line, one in front of the other. Or one of them might take a moment to check outdoors. However the situation changes, modify your plan to work with it. You’ll know when it’s time to move.

I mentioned taking two shots at each target earlier. That’s two shots to center mass; very important. Even if you hit with both shots, there is no guarantee that you will take them down, especially if they are on drugs. Taking two shots increases the likelihood of causing enough damage to them, that they are unable to respond. But don’t assume they are out of action. Once you service all the targets, go back and check which ones might need a shot to the head or where you might have to kick their guns out of their hands.

If everything goes perfectly and you have a large portion of luck on hand, you might actually be able to pull it off. Shooting against multiple attackers is always risky; but it’s not as risky as not doing anything. The steps I’ve outlines above will help reduce the risk to you, increasing your chances of success. Be ready; be vigilant; and as always, keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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