Friday, October 8, 2010

Self Defense Mentality

I often see items from various self defense gun bloggers/writers about what to shoot, how to shoot, why we need to be able to shoot, where to go to learn how to shoot... And very seldom on the mental attitude needed when one decides to provide the basics for one's self defense.

One video that Buford Tune at APPS shows every concealed carry course and every armed security officer course is of a self defense expert speaking (someone told me it was John Farnam but it didn't LOOK like Farnam)* about the mentality needed to carry a firearm for self defense and what to do when the firearm is needed versus an armed opponent.

*[EDIT: It IS a very much younger Farnam!]

The end of the video is striking: The expert describes a self-defense situation where you have just used your firearm to defeat the bad guy. The bad guy is on the ground. He slowly grasps his handgun and begins gradually raising it toward you.

What does this mean?

In a stern, authoritative voice the expert states: It means you have not shot him enough!

In the video the four D's of self defense gun fights are explained. When confronting the bad guy:
Divide his focus.
Disrupt his plan.
Disable his body.
Destroy his will to fight.

In the above scenario it is assumed you have accomplished the first three D's. However, if the bad guy is still trying to fight, the fourth is still unfulfilled. The fight is only over when all four have been checked off the list. Here is where we come back to the mentality needed to carry a firearm for self-defense. Those who choose to carry must have the will to follow through on all four D's. You must be willing to destroy the opponent who means you and your loved ones harm.

Another video shown is that of the 1998 murder of Deputy Kyle Dinkheller (Caution: the video is very disturbing) during a traffic stop in Georgia. Dinkheller stopped a pickup truck for failure to display legal tags. Noting a large dog in the cab of the truck, Dinkheller asked the driver (who will be nameless in this blog) to step to the back of the vehicle. The driver was immediately confrontational. When Dinkheller initially was able to get the driver to come to him, the driver attacked Dinkheller and was repulsed by use of an Asp baton.

The driver retreated and began acting irrationally, jumping around and shouting "Shoot me, Shoot me!" and declaring that he was a Viet Nam combat veteran. All the while the driver was maneuvering back to the driver's side door of his vehicle. During this Dinkheller was repeatedly ordering the driver to come back to the rear of the truck, stop what he was doing, etc...

When the driver reached the door of his truck he retrieved a .30 caliber rifle (in the video it looks like a M-1 carbine) and began loading it. Dinkheller can be heard screaming for the driver to put the rifle down. Dinkheller fired the first shot in the ensuing gun battle. The driver can be seen using cover and combat techniques to isolate and expose Dinkheller. The driver shot Dinkheller in the arms and legs to disable him - areas not covered by a vest - before finally killing him with a close up shot to the head.

The driver sustained one wound to the stomach. He was sentenced to be executed in a 2000 trial and has been appealing since. He is still scheduled to be put down.

In the after math and investigation it was revealed that Dinkheller had just prior been reprimanded by superiors for his demeanor during traffic stops. He was told to be nicer.

The video demonstrates that bad guys can and do use the Four D's just as well as we can. It is incumbent upon us to make sure we have the proper mental outlook to make sure we succeed and not the bad guys. After seeing that he could not defeat Dinkheller unarmed, the driver made the decision to escalate the encounter an armed fight and acted upon a plan to win.

The driver: Divided Dinkheller's focus and Disrupted Dinkheller's plan with erratic behavior and statements. Once armed, he Disabled Dinkheller's body and Destroyed his will to fight.

Meanwhile, evidently because of the reprimand and his youth (Dinkheller was 22), Dinkheller made plenty mistakes in the encounter that led to his death. And, no, I'm not speaking ill of this murdered officer, I'm trying to illustrate that we can learn from his mistakes. I'm sure that he would understand this. His first mistake was going out with a mind set that did not allow him to act on what was transpiring in the encounter. His mental attitude did not allow him to act aggressively enough, or to "bail out" when the situation went south.

There was a vital point after he repelled the driver with the Asp that he either had to press the attack or retreat to wait for backup. His mind set did not allow either. On one hand, he had been reprimanded for not being nicer during traffic stops so he did not disable the driver and prevent him from going to the truck. On the other, the "macho" aspect did not allow him to get in his cruiser and get the heck out and wait for backup.

As concealed carriers we do not do traffic stops, but similar scenarios and incidents can happen to us. Will we have the mental attitude necessary to defeat the threat and save our loved ones and ourselves? We must answer that question every single time we put the weapon in its holster. If not, Dinkheller's sacrifice and the lessons taught in his encounter will be in vain.

And the bad guys will win.

That can not happen.

Linked by Codrea, who notes:
I have a similar strategy that also uses four letters, FUHU, with the last three words being:


No one sane wants a fight, but if one is forced on you, remember:
And it ain't over 'til you say it's over.

Also linked by Liberty Sphere, SayUncle, WarriorGeek ...

1 comment:

  1. Being a bottom line kind of guy, I really appreciate your succinct summation of the meaning of the situation as "You have not shot him enough!"

    Fantastic post!



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