Give Clear, Concise Instructions To Others In Self-Defense Situations
Self-defense situations out in the real world are anything but cut-and-dried. The only reason to draw your concealed handgun holster is if you have every intention of addressing a clear and present danger to yourself, your family, or your property. That said, when that gun comes out of your holster, you're probably the only one who knows what you plan on doing with it.
That's why it's important to always communicate your intentions to those around you.
Give Clear And Decisive Instructions When Drawing Your Pistol
If there's an incident where bad guys are doing harm to others, strangers will not likely be able to distinguish you from the bad guys when they see the gun. You're going to both be threats in the minds of people who do not personally know you or their attackers. That's why you need to focus on using short, concise commands such as:
• “Get down!”
• “Out of the way!”
• “Take cover!”
And, as silly as it sounds, incorporating “please” and “thank you” after making such requests can go a surprisingly long way in affirming to those strangers that you are not interested in hurting them and you appreciate their support.
Hand gestures can also be useful if you have the time and ability to do so. Hand gestures often times take your focus away from a target rich environment but they can also be effective in communication. Hand movements suggesting the person get close to the ground or move in a specific direction can all be useful.
Not Everyone Will Follow Your Commands
Think about it from your perspective if you were not a concealed carrier responding to an emergency. You hear gunshots going off in an office building. You don't know who's firing the shots or where they are. All of the sudden, you see someone cautiously moving down the corridor on his way to an emergency exit. He has his handgun drawn. Without knowing anything more, it would be nigh impossible to determine if this was a “good guy” or a “bad guy”. Heck, even veteran law enforcement would have a high degree of difficulty maneuvering through a similar situation.
This is why we communicate with those around us. If we're not in the direct center of fire, we need to align with other strangers, co-workers, visitors, and even confused and scared family members. Use a clear, authoritative voice but always be cognizant of the fact that your gun won't win you their support – you have to do that through verbal and non verbal communication.
The purpose of a concealed carry handgun is to protect your life, your family's life, and your property. In the course of doing that, if you are able to assist and help others safely and without harm to yourself or bystanders – that's just a good, ethical thing to do. It is not a requirement. So communicate as much or as little as you need to in order to maneuver yourself to either a defensible position or to an exit.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.