Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Concealed Carry: Use of Force Continuum

An example of a use-of-force continuum follows:
• Officer Presence — No force is used. Considered the best way to resolve a situation.
o The mere presence of a law enforcement officer works to deter crime or diffuse a situation.
o Officers' attitudes are professional and nonthreatening.
• Verbalization — Force is not-physical.
o Officers issue calm, nonthreatening commands, such as "Let me see your identification and registration."
o Officers may increase their volume and shorten commands in an attempt to gain compliance. Short commands might include "Stop," or "Don't move."
• Empty-Hand Control — Officers use bodily force to gain control of a situation.
o Soft technique. Officers use grabs, holds and joint locks to restrain an individual.
o Hard technique. Officers use punches and kicks to restrain an individual.
• Less-Lethal Methods — Officers use less-lethal technologies to gain control of a situation.

o Blunt impact. Officers may use a baton or projectile to immobilize a combative person.
o Chemical. Officers may use chemical sprays or projectiles embedded with chemicals to restrain an individual (e.g., pepper spray).
o Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs). Officers may use CEDs to immobilize an individual. CEDs discharge a high-voltage, low-amperage jolt of electricity at a distance.
• Lethal Force — Officers use lethal weapons to gain control of a situation. Should only be used if a suspect poses a serious threat to the officer or another individual.
o Officers use deadly weapons such as firearms to stop an individual's actions.
Concealed Carry Use of Force Continuum

Unlike a police officer, the presence of a concealed carry civilian is not a deterrent. I think we should add a first step in place of “Officer presence” with “Get out of dodge”. If you can see something developing, violence, riot, a fight, have an exit strategy. You should be practicing good situational awareness and should be able to see something developing. Get yourself out of harms way.
Verbalization-Force is not physical.
You can calmly try to defuse the situation as a police officer might. If things escalate make sure your words are clear and concise.
Empty-hand control
As a civilian you really cannot grab someone. But if you think you can throw someone to deflect them and to escape, then do so.

Less-lethal methods
Cops are equipped with an array of weapons on their duty belts and are taught the "use of force continuum," which clarifies how to match the right tool to the threat level. For example, if a bad boy wants to grapple at close distance, the police can break him down with an impact weapon. If he squares off against an officer from 10-feet away, he could get a blast of pepper spray. And if he looks crazy or amped on dope, he will get a jolt with the Taser. The cops I know don't want to shoot anybody any more than you do. You might want to think about having a second, less-than-lethal weapon on your person whether you carry a firearm or not. Dual-force will give you additional response options and/or provide you with something in your hand that should be recognized by a street-wise criminal as a potential defensive weapon. Remembering a key point in risk avoidance, if you look like a hard target, predators are more likely to pass you by in favor of an easier mark.

Lethal force
You had better make sure there is a reason to use lethal force. Also make sure you issue commands that can be heard by witnesses or a 911 call. Remember also, you should not hesitate if faced with a risk to your life, but just pulling your gun doesn’t mean you have to shoot. Often the presence of a gun is similar to the presence of law enforcement. It can stop the situation and give you a chance to leave. But remember, this is your last resort, and there should be a clear and present threat.

Using a similar adapted Use of Force Continuum is of benefit to any concealed carry participant. If you can learn these steps and review them, if the time comes you are better prepared to meet the challenge and come out on top. Being prepared for most contingencies is a mind set.

Semper Paratus
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