What’s the Real Threat?

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 3.08.38 AMWhen shooting, as it is when you throw a ball, it is critical to look where you want the shot to go.  This is especially true when point shooting, a procedure whereby the shooter doesn’t aim utilizing the guns sights, but rather by pushing the gun out towards the target and aiming by looking the gun into the target.  We will discuss point shooting in an upcoming article, for now, I want to focus on what it is you should be focusing on when engaging a target.

The target should be the bad guy, and not the tool he is employing as a weapon.  Remember the old adage, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people?”  Well, this is more than just some outdated expression, it’s a fact.  The threat you should be concerned about, and the one you should focus on and engage is the person behind the weapon, be it a knife, bat or gun.  Eliminate the person and the weapon becomes useless.

Why distinguishing between the human threat and the target is important is because as stated above, you have to look at your target in order to hit it.

I can remember the first time I participated in a gunfight with another human utilizing simunition rounds.  In the scenario, we stood about 10 feet apart with our guns holstered.  At the command to fight, both of us drew and fired our guns until the magazines were empty.  The objective was to stay in the fight and on target despite the fact that you were taking rounds from the other person.  Yeah, they were essentially paintball rounds, but at 10 feet, they hurt like hell.  (I cannot recommend this type of reality based training more strongly)

During this training, I was surprised at how often I was hit either in the hand or the gun itself was struck by the sim-rounds.  I was also surprised by how often I did the same to the other guy, especially since I was point shooting and not using my sights.  The reason, because there is a strong tendency to look at the gun in the other guys hands.  And when you do, you tend to shoot it because your gun follows your eyes.

It can certainly end a gun fight should you shot the weapon out of the bad guys hand, or you disable the hand, but it is by far the least practical option. Let’s say the guy has a knife in his hand and it is held out to the side.  If you look at the weapon and not the bad guy, you will more times than not miss.  Same holds true with a bat or pipe that is generally held out to the side.  Missing your first or second shot will most likely give the bad guy time to close the distance and get to you before you can get off more shots.

Looking at the weapon can also increase your level of stress making it even harder to get off properly aimed shots allowing you to eliminate the threat before the threat eliminates you.  It is far more effective and efficient to focus on the threat, and not the weapon.

During your training, utilize targets that depict images of bad guys holding weapons and practice looking past or through the weapon at the bad guy himself.  Practice focusing on the real threat, the human being and not the perceived threat, in this case the weapon.  Train like you fight and fight like you train.

Don’t just survive, thrive!


It is also worth noting that in a conflict where you are unarmed and the bad guy has a knife or a blunt object, it is just as important to focus on the human being and not the weapon.  Don’t try to disarm the bad guy, rather, take out the bad guy which will render the weapon useless.  That’s a topic for another discussion though.

Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility.  You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life.  It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun.  Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.

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