When He’s Got the Drop on You

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

It’s easy to be idealistic, when thinking scenarios through. I don’t care if you’re talking about a survival scenario where you have to bug out, a criminal threatening your family or handling a traffic accident. We all pick a starting point in those scenarios, usually one that works to our advantage. Unfortunately, real life rarely matches up with our imagination.

One of the worst possible scenarios we can encounter, when it comes to an active shooting situation, is where the shooter has the drop on us. About the only thing that could be worse than that is that the shooter hits us with one of their shots, before we even know they are there. The truth of the matter though, is that they are likely to get the drop on us, simply because they are trying to use the element of surprise to their advantage.

This is why situational awareness is so important. If we aren’t evaluating everyone who comes within the area we are in, looking for threats, they will have the element of surprise in their favor. We’ll be sitting there with a holstered gun, while they’re locked and cocked, ready to go.

So, what do we do when that happens?

I’m assuming that you practice your draw regularly and that you’re probably pretty good. Even so, I’m also sure that your draw isn’t faster than a speeding bullet. A good, fast draw takes about 1.5 seconds, unless you’re a circus showman that has practiced to be able to show off your speed. In comparison, it only takes about 0.15 seconds to pull the trigger, so it’s unlikely you’re going to win that race.

That’s an important point and I hope you drill it into your own head… you… can’t… draw… faster… than… they… can… shoot. In other words, don’t try; you’ll lose.

So, what do you do?

We need to use a bit of psychology here if we’re going to get the upper hand. Basically, anytime a criminal pulls a gun and tries to use it to threaten people, they’re going to be hyped up, with adrenalin flowing through their system. They’ve psyched themselves up for that moment and all their senses are going to be on high alert. But the more times that passes, the more that adrenalin will dissipate, slowing their reactions and hopefully giving you the opportunity you need.

This is the key. You’ve got to wait for your opportunity. That might happen in one second and it might not happen for several minutes. In either case, you don’t want to make a move, do anything to attract attention or show that you are armed, until that opportunity presents itself.

What you’re looking for is for the bad guy or guys to be distracted and not paying attention to you. That will most likely be because they are paying attention to someone else, preferably someone who is at 90 degrees to you, so that they aren’t even facing your direction. When that happens, you will have the opportunity to turn the tables on them, gaining the element of surprise.

While you’re waiting for that moment to occur, keep your eyes on the bad guy or guys, watching everything they do. Don’t just watch though; plan, especially if you’re dealing with multiple bad guys. You’ll need to determine who to engage first, based on how much of a threat they are. You’ll also need to determine how you’re going to move, so that you can get the shots you need, without putting innocent lives at risk. Remember, you’re responsible for anyone your bullets hit and if one of the bad guys’ bullets hit an innocent person, you’re going to be a suspect until ballistics clears you.

When it comes time to move, you need to know exactly what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Your movements need to be as well rehearsed, in your own mind, as those of a Hollywood actor. You’ll only have two to three seconds to turn the tables on them, before they react. That’s not a lot of time to take on two assailants.

The hardest part of that is the movement from one target to the other. If the are together, that makes it easier for you; but that’s not something you can count on. Rather, you’re going to have to figure out how to move from target 1 to target 2 in the most economical way, so that you have time to engage that second target, before they can react and engage you.

Sounds like  it’s time to practice drawing and getting a sight picture more. Just one more tool in your toolbox, like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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