Monday, December 15, 2014

Stopping The Threat And Self Care

I was talking to a friend of mine in law enforcement who had just come from a federal academy for some weapons training. He confirmed what I have always said about a handgun round, unless that round hits a vital organ (brain, heart) then it won’t stop a determined attacker.
We all have a misconception about guns and what they actually do to the human body. The human body can take a lot before it starts to lose to much blood to keep going. The movies and TV would have a us believe:
“I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? ” Dirty Harry, 1971
Would a .44 Magnum be able to blow off someone’s head? Very doubtful. But a .44 is a pretty powerful round. By the way, a .454 is now the most powerful handgun.
As I’ve mentioned before, most people will react one of two ways when they are shot. The first way is to fall to the ground and be out of the fight. It’s something they have learned from watching millions of people get shot in entertainment. Will a gun shot, any small arms gun shot, really knock you back a few feet to the ground? When you get into the very large caliber I suppose it could. A .50 caliber round may explode the part of the body it hits, but certainly not a .223 or 9mm. Those who have hunted know what a round will do to a deer or an elk. A human being is smaller than an elk but the ballistics of the bullet will react about the same.
When President Kennedy was shot it was with a 6.5 x 52 mm round. It went right through him into Governor Connally.
The other reaction to being shot is nothing at all. During the “fight or flight” response the body will go into a tunnel vision mode and adrenaline will flow freely. Someone who isn’t shut down by a round to a vital organ will keep going even after being shot several times.
In 2006 there was a suspect who engaged the police in a gunfight and was shot 17 times, 11 of which exited his body. He had a broken arm from a .40 S&W round but was still able to resist arrest even after the shooting stopped.
Handguns in particular are not effective at killing, and you can be shot with a handgun caliber (several times) and survive. Shot does not equal dead and when you are training, make sure that you remember this, especially during force on force training encounters.
Also make sure that when you are training practice shooting more than 1 or 2 rounds each time you draw. It may take a lot of rounds to stop a threat.
Shot means keep fighting and in the real world pain = life = ability to fight on! Never give up!
After a shooting incident where your attacker had a gun you should check yourself over to ensure you are not shot. Run your palm over your entire body periodically looking to see if there is any blood. You may not feel being shot until your body starts to calm down. This may be too late and your body will go into shock so check as soon as possible.
Learn not only first aid, but how to deal with gunshot wounds. Have a first aid kit and know how to use every item in your kit. Most store bought first aid kits have band-aids and aspirin in them and that’s about it. You can build your own kit with some research and effort. I would recommend talking to a combat medic if you can and ask for their recommendation. Most nurses, doctors, and EMT’s are tied to their trucks or hospitals by equipment. I’m not knocking these great professionals, for they are the best medical care there is in the world. But modern medicine doesn’t always work well in the field. If you know someone who has this knowledge, glean all you can from them.
Once you have a good kit together get trained. If you’ve never had a first aid course or it has been a while, take one again. Hospitals and the Red Cross can help here.
There are other legal things that are advised to do after a defensive shooting, but this is not part of the discussion here. It’s all about you. Your safety and living to fight another day.
Semper Paratus
Check 6