The gun owner with just the basic training for the Ohio CCW permit is wholly unprepared for anything but the most basic of self-defense with a handgun. During the Fort Hood event, 13 people were killed and another 30 were injured. One trained police officer responding to the incident stated that she saw a man dressed in a military uniform carrying a gun when she arrived at the scene. The man pointed his gun at her, at which point she was temporarily blinded by the laser sight that was mounted to the man’s gun when the laser beam was shined in her eyes. In response, she retreated to cover behind a wall and began firing at the man as he ran towards her firing his pistol. The officer’s shots were ineffective and the assailant rounded the corner. At that point the two exchanged gunfire at a distance of about 8 feet. The officer was hit 3 times and the assailant was grazed by one bullet fired by the officer. Both individuals’ pistols malfunctioned—which probably saved her from becoming the 14th fatality. The officer was unable to clear her malfunction and get her pistol working again. The assailant then kicked the pistol out of the officer’s hand and cleared his own malfunction, but was shot by other responding officers before finding another victim to shoot.
Could you have effectively dealt with this fast-moving action if you were involved? Do you know to instinctively move out of the way to cover? Or, will you just freeze there trying to figure out what is happening? Do you know the difference between cover and concealment? (A hint…one of them will stop bullets from striking you and the other won’t.) Have you ever fired your gun from behind cover? Do you know how to minimize your exposure to your attacker’s gunfire when you are shooting from behind cover? Have you ever practiced shooting at a moving target, especially one moving directly towards you? Have you practiced shooting from a retention position to deal with an attacker that is less than an arm’s length from you? Have you ever shot your gun from a position other than standing? Can you even get to your gun from any position other than standing? Do you know how to rapidly clear any malfunction that your gun may have? Do you even know how to recognize that your gun has malfunctioned? Do you know how to retain control of your gun when someone is trying to take it away from you? Do you know how to accomplish trauma “self-aid” should you be injured during a gunfight and there is no one around to immediately help you? All of these are things you could easily have to deal with during and in the immediate aftermath of a gunfight. Do you have the training and skills to perform them quickly and effectively?
The typical gun owner/CCW permit holder gets even less training with their firearms. The basic firearms courses typically do not deal with the things that will improve your abilities in a gunfight—things like having the proper mindset, understanding situational awareness, gun fighting tactics, etc. The training that is required is typically focused on safe handling of firearms, basic nomenclature, shooting fundamentals, and that particular jurisdiction’s concealed carry laws. While these are all important, there is much more that you need to know if you hope to come out on top should gunfire erupt during an encounter.
I tell many of my CCW students taking the basic Ohio concealed carry course that their chances of surviving a gunfight based on that training alone is 50% at best. Those odds are not good enough
for me and I hope you feel the same way. So, what should you do…GET ADDITIONAL TRAINING!!
Advanced training like the NRA’s Personal Protection in the Home (PPITH), and Trigger Actions, Defensive Shooting, are offered by Trigger Action, LLC. These courses include accessing your handgun from its concealed carry position and drawing it quickly from a holster, shooting rapid and accurate follow-up shots, shooting from behind cover/concealment, shooting while moving, dealing with multiple assailants, shooting at varying distances from very close to far, quickly reloading your firearm, and clearing malfunctions. And these are just the skills you need to master in using your handgun. There are other skills that are also needed such as understanding the psychological and physiological affects of stress, improving your situational awareness, etc.
So the answer to the question "Can you Survive a Self-Defense Encounter" really comes down to how prepared you feel you need to be should you become involved in a encounter. Waiting until that moment to realize you are not prepared enough will not increase your chances of coming out on top at all.