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The Deadly Zone

The Deadly Zone

A recent study shows that, for the first half of 2013, over half of the federal law enforcement officers who lost their lives in action were killed at distances from 0 to 10 feet. What this means is anyone can be a good shot at close range. A law enforcement officer, of course, has a different task than an armed citizen. He must close with suspects in order to conduct an investigation or to make a custody arrest.  The armed citizen should simply not allow suspicious persons to come so close.

In our busy world, I know that task is often difficult to accomplish, but it should be our goal. Anytime we see potential trouble or said trouble approaching, we should be in Condition Orange. That doesn't mean we draw our defensive handgun, but it does mean we are alert and ready to take action.

Ideally, we would attempt to stop approaching trouble via verbal means, assuming the trouble is not armed.  If we cannot stop his approach, then it is up to us to create distance. Move away from the suspect, but don't turn your back on him. Even better, while creating distance, it is a good idea to get something between us and the stranger, preferably something that will serve as protective cover.

Therefore, you can see it is vitally important for most of our pistol practice to center around a quick, smooth presentation and two quick shots to the vital zone of the target. If you can accomplish that task in a second or less, from concealment, then you have come a long way toward having an effective defensive plan.

Again, we are of course not going to shoot every stranger who comes inside the 10-foot limit. Nor are we even going to draw our defensive pistol the vast majority of the time. But, we are going to clearly understand we might have to exercise the armed self-defense option, and therefore our attention had better be focused on the business at hand. Obviously, the vast majority of these encounters do not include violence of any kind. But don't let that cause you to ignore the dangers of the Deadly Zone.

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