It’s no secret that I’m a big proponent of concealed carry (or open carry if you’re so inclined). I think that every person in the United States should carry a gun for self-defense. The reasons why are numerous, but suffice it to say that you cannot rely on anyone, including the government, to save you.
Making matters worse, if you need the police they’re still several minutes away and by the time they get to you if you’re attacked, you’ll be hurt, or worse, dead.
Therefore the only option is to take your own protection seriously and stay armed just in case the need ever arises.
The sad part is that most concealed carriers are woefully unprepared to actually defend themselves with any real certainty. They think that having a gun is enough. They tend to go to the range to shoot at static targets, calling it “training” when it’s nothing more than target practice.
Don’t get me wrong, target practice is important, too, but it isn’t training. You should be shooting from different positions, training with speed, etc., when you train.
Something that folks rarely ever do, is practice shooting and moving. Shooting and moving can save your life.
And, to be more specific, shooting and moving to take cover or find concealment increases your chances of survival even further. Let’s take a look at why.
A moving target is harder to hit
Most of the more experienced and qualified instructors will tell you that a moving target is harder to hit. Heck, you can find that out for yourself by shooting at a moving target at the range if you’re able to.
If you’re ever involved in a firefight, you must know that if you move you will be harder for the bad guy to hit.
The below table is from a well respected instructor named Greg Ellifritz. He conducted a study and found that 85 percent of people who didn’t move during an encounter were shot.
The numbers dropped drastically when the defender moved, and even more so when they got behind cover.
|Phase||Hit Rate||Torso Hits|
The moral of the story is that you must have the ability to move, sometimes called getting off the X, when you’re being shot at. Sadly, many people don’t know how to move properly.
The best thing you can do is find a decent instructor to help you with this, so you don’t end up tripping or doing something else stupid.
And, if at all possible, your best bet is to move to cover because that gives you the best chance at not getting shot, therefore, surviving the event.
Cover should be impenetrable
If moving increases your chances of survival during a shootout, where should you move to? Well, just moving is a start. Moving and shooting back is ideal, especially if you’ve trained to be able to hit your target while on the move.
If you can move to a place where you have cover while shooting back, that’s the best possible scenario. A lot of folks confuse cover vs concealment, though. It’s good to know the difference. Cover is usually an impenetrable thing that is at least somewhat bigger than you are.
So, in terms of a car, something most of us should be familiar with, a car door is not necessarily cover because the bullet can penetrate through the thin sheet metal.
The engine is cover because bullets cannot penetrate through an engine block.
If cover is not impenetrable, it is concealment. Being concealed behind something bigger than you is still beneficial, and is something we’ll talk about next.
Concealment hides your exact location
If the thing you’re hiding behind won’t stop bullets, it is not cover, it’s concealment.
Hiding behind something bigger than you that won’t stop bullets is better than standing out in the open to collect the bullets yourself. That said, you don’t want to get comfortable here if you have other options.
Therefore, if the only thing you have is the car’s door, it’s better than standing out in the open.
However, if you can get hide behind the engine block, or the other side of the car, long ways, so the bullet has to penetrate through multiple pieces of thin sheet metal, you’d be better off.
And, of course, if you cannot do so because it would be less safe, then don’t.
Many would-be defenders have not trained properly to actually defend themselves. It’s important to be able to move while defending yourself, as well as shooting around your cover.
My first suggestion if any of this sounds different to you, is to find a class with a qualified instructor who will teach you what I’m talking about. It’s not something you can learn from an article.
But you must learn it.