Recently, I read a comment from a person who claimed to be a defensive trainer. Essentially, he said that developing a fast draw was not a necessary part of personal defense. Huh? I read it twice. Yep, that's what he said. Well, Hoss, I beg to differ.
Our society, rightfully so, does not allow a person to draw and shoot someone simply because they think that person might be going to attack them. We expect people to respond only when they know that a real threat actually exists right now. Right in their face. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that this gives a huge advantage to the bad guy.
To overcome the crook's advantage, the defensive shooter must act quickly and decisively. Of all the things that the armed citizen should be practicing, a smooth, quick draw and first-shot center hit are the most important. That should take up the majority of one's practice at the range and also in dry-fire practice at home.
Some folks think that it is impossible to draw and hit before a bad guy can pull the trigger of his already-leveled gun. Those folks never saw Bill Jordan's shooting demonstrations. In exhibition after exhibition, Jordan “beat the drop," as the old timers used to call it, on people randomly picked from his audiences. You can do it, too, if you are willing to practice your pistol presentation.
Too many people, including bad guys, think that a pointed gun is some sort of magic wand. It will cause a person to freeze and become compliant. So bad people point their gun at you and wait for you to freeze. They are anticipating your compliance. If you've been practicing, that actually can give you time to ruin their day.
In order to further this misconception on the part of the bad guy, I regularly practice my pistol presentation from and hands-up surrender position. “Hey, look at me. I'm no threat. I've even got my hands up!”
The key to success is, once your hands drop and you start the draw, you don't stop and don't hesitate. “Do it like you are killing snakes," is the way my friend Richard Mann puts it. The draw, sight acquisition and trigger press are all part of one continuous motion. And you do it as fast as you can.
Now—and this is important—throughout this rapid presentation, your eyes are on the bad guy. Should he drop his weapon or turn to run, you put on the brakes and don't trigger the shot. That is the only thing that will stop you from completing this quick response. It is the only thing that will keep the bad guy from getting shot.
Keep in mind that the criminal is going to press his attack quickly and from close range. Your best chance of taking the advantage away from him to to act quickly and accurately. This is no time to hesitate. Crooks expect you to be shocked and to hesitate when they visit trouble right in your face. If you practice and have a determined plan, you can deliver a shock to the crook they may very well remember for the rest of their life.