In some of my training via Insights the instructor referred to the initial stages of a violent confrontation as being interviewed. The interview might be conducted in silence from a distance, it might be by asking you for the time or for “money for a cup of coffee”, and it might only take a few seconds. But almost for certain the bad guy will conduct an “interview” of some type before attacking. In predator/prey terms it is the predator looking for easy prey. They want something that will be easy enough that they don’t get hurt yet profitable enough to not be a waste of time for the benefit gained. A couple of cops in full uniform leaving the donut shop are seldom prey. Frail little old ladies, with a big purse, pushing a walker, alone on a dark street look like food.
Your goal is to fail the interview process so they look for some other prey. Your first line of defense is to be aware of your surroundings. Just noticing that you are being interviewed and letting them know that you noticed is usually enough to “fail the interview” as in this encounter Barb and I had. If you make it past the first stage of the interview you may have to engage in some escalation of force to defend yourself or other innocent life. This might involve retreat, taking a defensive or aggressive posture, display or use of pepper spray, or display or use of a weapon. This escalation could take place over the course of a fraction of a second or over a minute or more.
Gun Nut Caleb had an interview with a choir boy on Saturday and apparently passed the first stage of the interview and threw his coffee at the interviewer during a later stage.
I tell my students that they should always be alert and thinking, “If ‘this’ happened what should I do?” When you are walking down the sidewalk, when you are in the grocery store, when you are driving and stopped at a light, or wherever you are. Think about what could happen and how to solve the problem. Your hands are full with bags of groceries, or a child or three. You are strapped into a car, or you are pushing a shopping cart. These are real life situations, not the range with a paper bulls-eye target at 30 feet or even the attempt at “combat shooting” when well defined “bad guys” are rigidly fixed precisely 21 feet away with the “hostage” covering only the left half of their torso. The range time is essential practice but real life is different and you need to at least go through the effort to translate the range exercise into real life in your mind.
One of my “what if” scenarios solutions is where the contents of my hands (except for children) goes into air in the general direction of the attacker. Fast movement is exceedingly distracting. It is very difficult for your eyes and thought to not be drawn to movement. Putting material into the air should distract the attacker some from your drawing of a weapon. When the checkout line is long and I’m bored the thoughts extend to fantasy and the solution involves the can of baked beans bouncing off the head of the masked gunman holding up the clerk while I draw, double tap his cranium, then catch the can of beans returning from on high in my weak hand and proceed to scan for more threats before holstering and continuing through the check-out line.
Reality is not fantasy. Read how Caleb handled it and how it turned out. It probably wasn’t how he expected such an encounter would go down but it certainly was good enough that the good guys can pat him on the back and say, “You did just fine.”