This post was originally published on 12 August 2013 on The Arms Guide.
The average time-is-life situation for a concealed carry holder is remarkably short. Most incidents come to a halt with the presentation of a firearm in the holster or with the draw from the holster. Very few actually result in an exchange of fire. The average crook is a prime example of a predatory mindset: They prey on those weaker than themselves, tactically. A show of force is usually enough to scare them away. But, we don’t train for the best case scenario; these TACTIPS are geared toward training for the worst case scenario.
Scenario: you’re being followed by a mugger. You present your firearm, and he draws one of his own and fires at you. His shot goes wide. You need to make the decision to seek cover or concealment, in that order. The difference is simple: Cover is something hard that will stop a bullet. Concealment is something that conceals your position. However, the average concealment position is vulnerable to gunfire; if you are discovered and the enemy has accurate enough shots, you will be hit. That is why cover is always preferable to concealment.
Many of us carry in an urban environment. An urban environment is cover-rich. Buildings, dumpsters, and vehicles are all examples of good cover. On the topic of vehicles, however, keep in mind: the majority of a car body is not going to stop a bullet. If you elect to seek cover behind a vehicle, your best bet is to take cover behind the front wheel well so that any incoming rounds will have to go through the engine block. Depending on what kind of ammunition the bad guy is using, effectiveness may vary. The takeaway is to always be looking for cover or concealment so that if you are forced into this situation, you react quickly. Remember, time is life.
Also, keep in mind that whether you take cover or concealment (bushes in a park would be a good example of urban environment concealment), you should not park yourself there. Your objective should be one of two choices: either closing with and neutralizing the threat, or retreating to safety. I would strongly recommend retreating to safety and calling law enforcement. Also, make sure you are cognizant of all local and state laws regarding duty to retreat. If your state has a duty to retreat statute and you close with and destroy your assailant, then you could be charged with manslaughter.
This is more of a mental TACTIP than a physical. Practice it while you drive, while you walk, while you take the bus or ride your bike. Analyze potential cover or concealment, ask yourself if it will stop incoming rounds, and look past it to see where your next choke point will be. Constant war-gaming will kept you mentally ahead of the bad guys. Remember, practice makes proficient.
Featured image courtesy of garagegames.com