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Deputy's Observations: The First Rule of Gunfighting

Deputy's Observations: The First Rule of Gunfighting

Frank Hinkle

The first rule of surviving a gunfight is to have a gun to fight with. As we discussed in the previous article that means not only having a weapon, but also having it accessible to you when you need it. That does not mean under the seat of your car or inside of a briefcase. It means where you can put your hand to it immediately, and without taking your eyes off of any threat.

Example: my wife (also a peace officer) and I were shopping in a grocery store when she observed an ex-con looking male walking around the store in a suspicious manner. She went to the manager and told him that he had a booster in the store and what she had seen him take. We then attempted to finish our shopping without any further involvement. We were standing in line at the checkout counter when we saw the suspect exiting the store with the manger trailing along behind him. The suspect dropped some packs of cigarettes that we had seen him take, but still had others in his possession. I rethought my previous decision not to get further involved and started to go to cover the manager. But at the same time I decided that I needed to access my weapon before approaching the suspect. I had a .380ACP pistol in an ankle holster, but at that moment it was too far away from my hand to be of any use, and to retrieve it meant taking my eyes off of the situation that was developing.

That quickly a pickup truck driven by another ex-con looking male pulled up outside the doors and the first subject jumped into it. My first impression was that the truck was cleaner than both subjects and that it was probably stolen. The driver swerved towards the store manager and then sped off. This was not a simple petty theft-shoplift, it was 2 ex-cons on a crime spree, and they weren’t going to go back to jail quietly. And that all happened before I could get my pistol out of my ankle holster.

Not only was my weapon too far from my hand but it was also obvious to me was that I did not have nearly enough gun for that incident. A small .380 pistol or 2" revolver is great for carrying, but they are not always enough gun for the situation.

So what is “enough gun”? Using today’s collective body of knowledge that is an easy question to answer. One of your greatest concerns in today’s society is being the first armed person on the scene of an “active shooter” incident. Picture yourself off-duty and being at a school or shopping mall, a large restaurant or theater, and hearing gunfire and screaming. Our experiences over the last few years have taught us that mentally ill persons, alone or in groups, have acted out their fantasies of committing multiple murders in places like schools and shopping malls. Disgruntled ex-employees or scorned lovers have gone into crowed restaurants and offices to kill staff and customers alike. And the only way to stop the killing is to aggressively confront and incapacitate the killers. No waiting for back-up, no calling for SWAT, no setting up a perimeter or rendering of first aid to victims. We must peruse the shooter and attack them, put them on the defensive at risk to our own lives, and end the killing.

Look at the places that you frequent and at what distances you might be expected to make a pistol shot at in an active shooter scenario, and then ask yourself is you are confident in your ability to do so with the weapon that you would be carrying. It dose not matter what equipment you have back in your car if you are away from your car; you will forced to deal with this situation with what you are carrying on your body.

As you walk your child through their school, look at the layout and where cover is and where you might encounter an armed suspect. Do you practice 15-yard and 25-yard shooting with your sub-compact weapon? Now turn that around: If you came up to this corner, heard shooting, looked around the corner and saw an armed person shooting into a classroom, what weapon that you can carry on your body would you be able to make that shot with, in order to save lives?

I carry a Colt Combat Commander in .45 ACP loaded with Winchester Lawman Jacketed Hollow Point ammunition, 2-extra magazines and a pair of Peerless handcuffs. That’s what I’d want if I found myself at that corner, so that’s what I carry every day.

Stay safe, and stay alert.

  • On_the_job_002_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Great article !!

  • 10954533_10152768417768138_2117542071882865207_n_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    First rule! If you have a gun pointed at you, pull the trigger and do not think twice, boom, boom!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    When I had my CCW in WA I carried my S&W 659 9mm with federal hydro shock hollow points on me. Every one tells me that gun is a toy gun its not if you know how to do shot placement and are a good shot.

  • Profile_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Great article and always good to be thinking and prepared.

  • 100_0325_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    The first rule of surviving a gunfight is not permit to carry a gun to anybody.
    No gun = no gunfight

    Jonatan from Spain

    Wasn't there a big shooting and bomb attack a few years ago in Spain?? Someone with a gun might have prevented some of that.

  • Tumblr_lpagx176uq1qls45bo1_r1_500_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Great article. If I go out I usually keep either my Glock 31 or my Walther P99 with me at all times unless it says on the door no guns allowed. If I'm not allowed my gun then I keep my pepper spray with me where I can have it in my hand in a moments notice.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    Yeah too bad you can't legally carry in some cities, like the high crime city of Chicago. And even if you do carry, you can't carry into a school or college anyway, but a criminal can. And most places have a no gun sign out in front anyway, and by law, you can't carry into that place. And even if you do find a place where you can legally carry a gun, you're always going to be harassed by law enforcement about it. I wonder how many kids at Virgina Tech could have been saved if the law gave them an equally playing field with the shooter. When dealing with situations like this cops won't rush in, they have to use tact for officer safety, but what about the safety of the law abiding kids that where struck down by that Glock 19 (9mm), they never had a chance... This article is good, but it's advice is only worth something if you are a cop, because you can carry everywhere even off-duty.

  • M_9667fc2c687f23a8152f2bc98d03777d_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Great article!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    @Sagarrondo-Have you ever heard if guns kill people, then pencils make spelling errors? People kill people and I personally would rather have a gun on me if someone was gonna try. Unfortunately guns are gonna get in the hands of the wrong people and that's why the good guys carry too.

  • Me2_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I am not old enough to carry, and I am obviously not a LEO. But when the time comes, I would probably carry a glock 23 around, concealed. Just because I do not like sub-compact pistols.

  • Menu-logo-button_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Awesome article and brilliant advice ! I would like to add the fact that its not what kind of gun you bring to the gun fight but having enough ammo for your gun of choice. The Detroit Police academy teaches that a living, breathing threat is a threat none the less. My good friend found this out sometime ago when he was on the bad end of an armed robbery but was able to neutralize his threat ( 31 rounds later ) and engage two perps in defense of his life. He emptied the two magazines that were on his person, realizing that he had run out of ammo, retreated back to his vehicle to reload his spent magazines from his duty bag. He now carries three magazines with him at all times.
    With that being said, my weapon of choice is my Glock 29 compact 10mm witth two extended magazines loaded with Federal Hydra-Shock HP's ( off-duty of course )

  • 309


    almost 4 years ago


    I just sold my Kahr K40 elite and bought a Smith and Wesson 396 Night Guard with a CT grip in .44 Special. Both are great guns and very concealable. Sometimes bringing too much gun to a gunfight can also cause probelms. Know your weapon, know your capabilities/limitations and be safe out there! Good article.

  • One_ass_to_risk_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    When I am off duty I carry either my Ruger LCP .380 or my S&W .38 snub nose, obvioulsy for concealment reasons in my front pocket. I usually have my family with me or someone else and I have trained them that my first response is to get them out of harms way, get to my truck and get a bigger weapon that I have there for an active shooter situation. I carry the small firearms for personal protection and for close quarter confrotation, to get away from the shooter(s). If I can get to my truck, I can leave or make you wish I left!

  • Picture_100_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I carry my Sig 229 chambered with Sig 357. Not always the cuffs, not always the spare mags, but unless I am at a bar, I carry the pistol.

  • Picture_100_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    esu, doesn’t work in Europe either. Johnathn what about ETA? You have a cease fire now, but the Spanish police are well armed. Why? How do you "not permit" a criminal to carry a gun? In Spain it is illegal to blow up trains but ETA would do it. In every civilized country it is not permitted to rape, but it happens. People have guns, cops should have guns always.

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