TRAINING TIP: Working With Others for Mutual Defense

April 10 2014
by Claude Werner
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The recent story of the family involved shooting is an excellent example of how a family can establish a mutually reinforcing defense. According news reports, the adult son discovered an intruder trying to break through a rear door. He fired a shot, which the news characterized as a ‘warning shot,’ but in fact, may have been a round that simply didn’t hit. “The young man [then] went back to the kitchen where his mother and father were, both armed. [The intruder charged] the residents and the three of them all shot at the intruder.”

This kind of situation is far more common than most people realize. It happens for a simple reason; you’re around your family a lot. Families who wish to work together for mutual defense, and not all do, can enhance their effectiveness by planning certain aspects of their defense ahead of time. Obviously, every situation is fluid and dynamic, but it’s easier to modify a pre-existing plan than to make one up on the spot.

Consider certain practical aspects of working in a group:

– Communication, both internal and external
– Awareness and positioning
– Points of likely cover for both defenders and attackers
– Surveillance detection
– Achieving a position of advantage
– Establishing all around security
– Accessing a partner’s weapon
– The possible need for close range precision shooting, for instance, if a spouse or child is held hostage or in case of an animal attack

A very important skill in this context is learning to safely move around others with a loaded firearm. In this incident, the son retreated to where his parents were. Was he conscious of where his muzzle pointed? Having a Negligent Discharge into a family member would be a personal and tactical disaster. Any armed person should master the ability to depress their muzzle unconsciously any time they move around or toward another person.

Just doing a verbal rehearsal can go a long way toward putting up a more effective defense. My Father did this when I was a teenager. “If someone kicks in the door, all the girls [my Mother and sisters] get on the floor. Then the guys (he, my brother, and I) are going to shoot everyone who’s not one of us.” We were habitually armed or within reach of a handgun at home.

Fortunately, we never had to put that plan into effect, but it was nice knowing what to do.

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