Distraction is a Great Defensive Tool

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Defense obviously isn’t all about how fast and how accurately you can shoot. As far as I’m concerned, I could go the rest of my life without having to shoot anyone, or even draw my gun in anger, and I’d be perfectly happy. I’ve managed to survive four confrontations with bad guys and in all four cases, just letting them find out that I was armed was enough to take the wind out of their sails.

We must always remember that our job is not to plant the bad guy, it’s to protect ourselves and our families. While that might result in our having to use deadly force, there are many more cases where we can take other action, mitigating against the necessity of using that deadly force. That’s good for us, as it prevents us from having to face any consequences of having shot someone, both legally and mentally, however righteously the shooting might have been.

But avoiding a shooting is an art all its own. One of the many factors that can attribute to it is getting the drop on the other guy. That may be hard to do with a criminal, as it can be said that it is the presence of their weapon that gives you a legal right to draw your own.

But just because they’ve got the drop on you, doesn’t necessarily mean they can maintain the drop on you. That requires staying alert and focused; something the criminal element is not known to do. That’s good for us, as their lack of focus can paly to our advantage. Once they lose focus, we can have a chance to move, even if our pistol is holstered.

There are things we can do in that moment, short of drawing our pistol. They might very well notice us drawing a pistol, while not noticing lesser things. What do I mean by that? Things like grabbing a handful of change and throwing it on the floor, off to the side. Things like throwing something so that it breaks on the wall. Things like throwing your drink in their face, if they’re close enough.

These are called distractions and they’re an age-old tool of fighting, whether fist-fighting or gun-fighting. That distraction can give a second to two seconds of time to react, where the reactions of your adversary will be slowed by their inattentiveness. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.

In a way, the flash-bang grenades the police buy do the same thing. Granted, up close the effect is devastating, totally disorienting those who are close. Closing your eyes and covering your ears can help, but that requires knowing what’s about to happen. Something the criminals aren’t supposed to know. At a greater distance, they may not totally incapacitate, but they will still distract and disorient, allowing the police to take action.

Unfortunately, you and I can’t legally buy and/or use flash-bangs. They’d be a bit bulky to carry around anyway. Several years ago, I bought something that was advertised to be a non-explosive alternative to flash-bang grenades; they would flash brightly, without the bang. I have to tell you; I was severely disappointed. They illuminated at only 100 lumens, which means that about the only time they could possibly cause a distraction would be in a dark room. It was a good idea and would have worked great at about 500 lumens; but was poorly executed.

On the other hand, a good tactical flashlight could be used the same way, throwing it across the floor. The human eye will automatically follow light. So, if you give it a target to follow, it will do so. That gives you that moment of distraction you need, so that you can react.

Part of the beauty of this is that it gives you the upper hand. What I mean by that is that you can decide where you want to go, once you get the upper hand. They should see that they’ve lost the initiative, especially if they swing their gun away from you. With your gun on them and theirs pointing elsewhere, it’s you that have the drop. That may be enough to cause many criminals to drop their gun, especially after a loud, firm command to do so.

You may still have to shoot; but I would avoid it if at all possible. The human mind has an amazing ability to punish itself for killing fellow human beings. You could win the battle, only to find that you’ve given yourself another battle, that you have to fight the rest of your life.

Being prepared to create a distraction is an important tool and can be just as important as keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand. Think about it.

Dr. Rich

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