Situational awareness, watching your six, and retention holsters

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by TEAM101, Jun 27, 2017.

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  1. TEAM101

    TEAM101 Member

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    Not being there, although I walked that same sidewalk two nights before this incident, I can't comment on the situational awareness of these guys, but they look like sheep. It did get me thinking, though. Could I perceive, react, and prevail in my current condition? If not and I had been involved in this incident, my shirt would have lifted and exposed my gun in its non-retention holster as I laid unconscious face down on the pavement.

    This incident reinforces the importance of situational awareness and shows how quickly a situation can evolve. How many of you practice from the holster (does your range even allow it), how often do you rehearse and refine your draw, conduct mag, malfunction, and injury drills, can you hit under stress, how secure is your weapon? The monikers "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" and "train like you fight, fight like you train, and train regularly" have some relevance. If you have to, forego that new range toy and spend the money on ammo, professional training, and quality carry gear. I know a lot of people who CCW and the certification course was their only training. If you fail to prepare it will show and you will lose when things go sideways. Once you've taken the steps to prepare, don't leave your CCW at home, in the car, etc., etc. and resist the urge to drop a mouse gun in your pocket in lieu of carrying your CCW piece.

    This video made me realize I've gotten a little laxed about some things in the past month or two so I figured it wouldn't hurt to preach to others who may have done the same.
     
  2. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    Animals that need to be shot.
    Sickly, if someone was able to draw & fire just before attack they would likely be charged for shooting an "unarmed teen".
     
  3. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    I try to be keenly aware of my surroundings, who's there, what's going on and avoid certain areas. I live fire and practice with my carry guns at the range at least once a week if not more. I always keep in mind the words of the Greek poet and soldier , Archilochus. “We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”
     
  4. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    One of the things I love most about internet forums... Everyone is a high speed low drag pie hitter. Seriously, you've determined from the whole two seconds the victims are in frame that they are sheep? What does that even mean?

    It's a 4 on 2 ambush attack. Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris would probably have been equally screwed, much less anyone without formal combative training. I know that on the gun forums we like to think that we have a gun, we might maybe know something about using it because we went to a range once, ergo, as long as we follow the plan, everything works out. That's not how it works in the real world. You can't live life in "Condition RED", slicing all the pies and 24/7 Scanning & Assessing.

    If I remember right from the list time I was in NOLA, this attack took place right off a very busy tourist trap street in the middle of several large parking lots... right out in the open in front of lots of people. It's understandable the someone wouldn't be hyper attentive to the possibility of someone running up and hitting them in the head. I would be more worried about pickpockets in that situation.

    Honestly, even if you were hyper aware and people running on the sidewalk raised alarm, what would you have done? Pulled a gun? Please, go straight to jail. Most people would have just stepped to the side to make a hole for the people to run by... and still gotten punched in the face and taken down. This isn't an easy situation where the tourists from Boston could have just shouted "SHEEPDOG" and prevailed.
     
  5. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Well put.
     
  6. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    Action will always be faster than reaction. I am not sure I would have fared any better in that scenario. Even if they heard the kids running at the last moment they likely didn't have time to react. I'd like to think I am always in condition yellow, but in reality I visit white quite a lot.
     
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  7. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Looks like it is that "knockout" game of hitting unsuspecting pedestrians. I call it assault and possibly attempted murder though.

    The sound of running footsteps should ALWAYS draw attention. These idiots need to close the distance fast to cause the surprise effect of their attack. Even if someone is not running to attack you, it is better to just look paranoid to another fellow pedestrian than it is to have your head bouncing off concrete or brick.

    And in this situation, a retention holster will likely not do squat. I have seen people be unconscious for 30 seconds or more after a severe blow to the head. That is more than ample time for even an average street thug to figure out to push the button on your holster to get your gun out.
     
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  8. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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  9. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    We used to play a game as kids:

    One kid (blindfolded) in the center of a circle of other kids (not blindfolded).
    Object of the game was to start from you position in the circle and sneak up and grab the blindfolded kid in the middle.

    If the kid in the middle pointed you out and was correct pointing to your position, you had to start over.

    What we figured out is if you rush the blindfolded kid, he cannot get your position figured out fast enough to point you out before you grab him.

    Same concept here. Even if those guys looked behind them and saw the guys walking, if they turned back around, the thugs could run up and do just as they did.

    This kind of unprompted attack is really hard to defend against.
     
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  10. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    Some random thoughts, in no particular order ....

    Getting caught up in some ambush "knock-out" robbery means the odds are already severely stacked against you (it's an ambush).

    Two male attackers going after 2 similarly sized male victims, with 2 "backup" male attackers (lookouts, too?), probably means they were ready, mentally and physically, to try to immediately over-power their intended victims, and any resistance the victims might put out. Probably honed and refined their technique from other incidents. They swarm the victims.

    Being aware of ANY out-of-the-ordinary noise, like running feet, ought to trigger a reflexive area check. Maybe a demonstration of alertness and awareness (defensive physical postures by both intended victims) might've caused the suspects to veer off and look for other victims, or maybe they might've used even more force (already committed to running). No way to know how the suspects were prepared to act (and trying to attribute reasonable thinking to some folks is an exercise in futility).

    Might 2 intended male victims, in good shape and with at least some amount of self defense training, have prevented the success of the initial attack? Maybe. Probably. However, the nature of the attack might've instantly changed if the suspect attackers suddenly revealed they carried knives (or box cutters), or 1 or more of the 4 had a gun.

    Adding a gun or 2, being worn by the victims, might've done little good due to the speed of the attacke, especially if the victims weren't trained and experienced in being able to swiftly properly react (people tend to forget the delaying effect of the "freeze" part of the "freeze, flight or fight" response). Then, reacting properly as a "pair" is something that really needs to be ingrained by training and frequent practice. There's always the risk of a victim's gun being taken and used against the victim(s).

    Retention holster? Used by a private citizen? What kind of "retention" are you thinking about? Anything short of a L3 security holster probably isn't going to protect against the quick loss of the weapon from a downed victim, and even a L3 isn't a guarantee. How many L3 type concealment holsters are being used by the average armed private citizen? (How many are worn off-duty by working cops, for that matter? ;) ) "Retention" is more than a mindset, more than just equipment and more than just a couple of techniques. It's something that requires some specific training and practice.

    Even if one of the intended victims had managed to start to draw a gun - remembering you saw the speed of the attack in the video - what if that only meant the 2 attackers instantly focused their attention on over whelming the victim trying to present a gun? And before someone mentions a "disparity of force", consider that for all the victims knew, it was only 2-on-2, in the beginning of the attack, and without any visible weapons being shown by the attackers.

    How many average citizens think they're going to be able to react appropriately, reasonably, using only necessary force to defend themselves? How many know the laws about such things? How many think it's just "common sense"? Some of our county jails and state prisons house otherwise good, upstanding citizens who made mistakes in their decisions whether to use force, and how much, and their decisions were later found improper when applied to those of the "reasonable person" standard.

    FWIW, I've been involved in the practice of various martial arts for 46 years (and have taught the same, or just 'self defense'); I try to keep in good shape; I've been a LE firearms trainer for 26 years; I've carried one or another (regular or reserve) badge for over 34 years; I've had the usual DT & officer safety training, as well as having sought out additional training opportunities ... and I've survived a violent attack by someone armed with a large kitchen boning-type knife, while unarmed, without being cut ... and to my mind, being the focus of such an attack as the one in the video, and surviving without serious injury, even to preventing the attackers from successfully completing the robbery, would be very, very, very - etc, etc - difficult. What if the second pair of suspects were armed? What if there weren't just 2, but 3 or 4 "extra" suspects, prepared to overwhelm resistance of victims who tried to defend themselves?

    This is why the criminal justice system - and society - needs to tighten down on such wanton, overtly violent and even feral behavior by criminals.

    Just some thoughts. I don't pretend to have the answers.
     
  11. harrygunner

    harrygunner Member

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    I've often questioned Nature's decision not to have eyes in the back of our heads. Tough to defend against while still having a reasonable level of paranoia.

    I bought an expandable baton. My definition of CQC now involves me having a steel rod in one hand.

    Been practicing having it in my weak-side hand. I can either continue fending off the attack or bring my handgun into the fight if justified. Good reason to practice shooting where the gun is held low, near the holster.

    Years ago, a friend and I wandered onto Basin St. in Nawlins one night. A couple of bums stumbled out of a bar and wanted to fight. Both my friend and I had martial arts training and apparently didn't react like victims, so, no fight.

    No faulting these two in the video. Tough situation without Bruce Lee speed.
     
  12. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    I am actually glad neither of those two victims were CCW'ers carrying, would have been just one more gun in the hands of criminals on the streets.
     
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  13. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    I agree this would have been very difficult to defend against. I'd be interested in what the rest of the street looked like- how dark was it, how many bystanders were present?

    Yes, very high road of you. Physician, heal thyself.
     
  14. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    I don't know those guys and I have no idea if they are "sheep" but I will say if I were sitting there next to my unconscious pal, I can't say I'd engage four assailants of unknown armament.
     
  15. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I do not see how any of that could have been relevant to the situation.
     
  16. TEAM101

    TEAM101 Member

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    That doesn't shock me. Nah, not at all.
     
  17. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    I don't have an answer. I know that if the one guy is in critical condition they had to have hit him with some force, brass knuckles?

    I'd more information to make any legitimate assessment but ultimately my first defense would be avoidance.

    I'm old enough that no matter how often I hit the gym I'd be at a serious disadvantage against some twenty-something thug. So I avoid known places where they congregate.
     
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  18. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    The video made me want to avoid the whole of New Orleans.
     
  19. strambo

    strambo Member

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    I find it interesting how quickly people go to extremes. On one hand we have the "sheep" comments and the extreme of "you can't do anything about it." Then we have the other extreme of how nobody can be a condition red tactical ninja all the time.

    What ever happened to reasonable common sense? Had these 2 been more aware of their surroundings (relaxed condition "yellow", tacticool head on a swivel extreme not needed), they probably wouldn't have even been selected in the first place. The perps would just wait like 30s for the next clueless victims 'cause 99% of the population behaves this way.

    Then, if they were selected despite having better situational awareness (SA), at a minimum, with no training, they at least had time to rapidly turn and face the threat when they heard the fast steps. Now, at this point there is no time to draw a gun, but there would be time to throw arms up to cover. From the perp's perspective, the target quickly facing you and throwing their arms up to cover is a way different problem than a rear-naked choke and KO punch from behind. Time is on the side of the "victims," the longer they can resist, the more likely the perps will break off due to exposure.

    As far as numbers (and geometry) go, it wasn't 4 vs. 2 either. It was 1 on 1 simultaneously with 2 waiting.

    Now, add in some simple training such as Blauer's SPEAR as a reaction followed by a few strikes and the odds really change. "But what if the other 2 are armed?!" Well, what if? Rather take your chances not doing anything at all? The other 2 still have to go trough their "OODA" loop as you are pounding the 1st one and decide if they want to engage (armed or not) and you also have the body of perp #1 between you and them.

    In summary: be aware of your surroundings, when you hear fast steps turn and face the threat immediately, if they run by (innocent coincidence) so be it, otherwise throw your arms up into a defensive posture, a SPEAR type response, or launch a strike and fight for your life.
     
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  20. Shaq

    Shaq Member

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    It's a prime example of MMQB (Monday Morning QuarterBacking). Everyone has a solution....everyone talks about how they would have handled it better, avoided being victims, are better trained, etc. Some people need to appear smarter than everyone else. The fact is, (as you noted) anyone attacked from behind would have been screwed, unless they weren't knocked unconscious from the first blow, & even then, they'd be outnumbered. The only way to completely avoid such an attack would be to keep your eyes behind you constantly as you walk forward - which would leave you vulnerable to an attack from the front.

    I think too many people learn about life from movies.
     
  21. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not so sure, and if they had, would they have done so?
     
  22. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    Just recently we had a story on here about a "tactical firearms trainer", former special forces guy pepper a car trying to save an uber driver from what he thought was an armed robbery.....car had a mile wide shot pattern in it and the uber driver he was trying to protect was hit with friendly fire. There is just so much disconnect between reality and fantasy here.
     
  23. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Watch it again, they absolutely had time to rapidly turn. From the moment fast shadows are visible, the first guy had 2 seconds and the second guy 3 seconds. If the perps started running when the video began, double those times.

    It only takes a half second or less to turn around. Obviously, these two wouldn't have because they didn't....

    I walk fast normally and sometimes run for fitness. If I'm coming up on someone from behind walking or running, 9/10 I'm within arms length before they look or know I'm there (typically startled), easy prey.

    I don't walk around like I'm paranoid, but nobody has ever walked/ran past me without my knowing they were there ahead of time unless they popped out from behind something or around a corner.

    This street has very long sight lines, they didn't just jump out from a corner and Scotty didn't beam them there.
     
  24. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    So you have concluded.
    Y
    You have to start the clock when the victims hear the sound, and they have to process the signal, decide to turn, and do so.

    And that last is the operative phrase. How many people, even among those with good tactical training, will "turn to face the threat" immediately upon hearing someone running behind them in an urban environment?

    After one has decided to do so.

    Watch some videos of "knockout game" attacks in which the attacker runs up from behind. In how many of them do you believe that the victim would have , or should have, have recognized the existence of an imminent threat timely?

    Few, I think.

    What I tell people is that you if see someone taking video of you as you walk, ACT IMMEDIATELY. That would likely be your only actionable warning.
     
  25. Wisco

    Wisco member

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    No matter what anyone says, nothing would have prevented this, or many of the other "knockout game" attacks, except the victims not being where they were.

    Part of living is accepting risk. Do what you can to mitigate risk, but living in a state of hyper-vigilance is no way to live, and that hyper-vigilance is still no guarantee things will go well for you. I refuse to move tactically through life...that's mentally exhausting.

    Ask anyone who saw combat in the military in a situation where the enemy used ambushes...all the training and vigilance in the world often wasn't enough to save the first people shot up...the side setting the trap has the advantage. If you live through the initial assault, things like training and equipment and fortitude come into play. They don't when you're unconscious.

    Turning around, drawing from retention, and shooting those two attackers sounds like a massive legal problem. Would a reasonable person think a deadly attack was imminent? "We were just running and this guy turned around and shot!"
     
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