When we all started shooting or took hunters safety, there was always a set of rules we learned when it came to gun safety. One of the most important rules when it comes to safe firearm handling is knowing what your target is and what’s beyond it. On the surface, it’s a pretty simple work but when you start looking at it through the perspective of a concealed carrier, it becomes complicated rather quickly. There are a number of ways to train to minimize risk when it comes to hurting innocent lives and a number of considerations to keep in mind when carrying concealed. Let’s dive into the importance of knowing what’s beyond your target.
Factors To Consider
Using your firearm in a self-defense situation will be an incredibly stressful event for anyone. Individuals who carry a concealed firearm have to take on a series of responsibilities when they decide to put a firearm on. One of those responsibilities is being accountable for every round fired out of their gun in a given self-defense situation. When a shooting occurs, in certain situations the attacker can be within 5 feet. Engaging at such close ranges can cause various self-defense rounds to overpenetrate and continue on. Any missed shot or overpenetrating shots you will still be responsible for in court.
This makes shot placement and knowing your backstop incredibly important. Another factor to think about is our society as a whole and how technology affects our lives. Whether it’s security cameras, video camera footage or people recording on their phone, there’s a good chance your self-defense encounter will be on video one way or another. Having an understanding that things will be on video will keep you from being the aggressor and can ultimately help you when in court. It’s important to be on your best behavior in public and use enough force to stop the threat and that’s all.
A great example of knowing your backstop would be the West Freeway Church shooting in Texas last December. This was the shooting where a gunman opened fire in a small church during its Sunday service. Two congregation members were shot and killed before Jack Wilson fired one round into the gunman killing him. Wilson positioned himself so no one other than the gunman was in danger. This whole altercation is online for viewing if you guys are interested but Jack Wilson is one of the best examples of how to be in a self-defense situation. He fired just enough rounds to stop the threat and minimized collateral damage in a matter of moments.
Drills To Help With Spatial Awareness
So you may be asking yourself, Matt how can I practice working on spatial awareness and seeing what’s behind my target? It’s really as simple as setting up no-shoot targets in front of behind of threats. Set up 3-4 no-shoots mixed in at various distances with threat targets surrounding them. Having this set up at your range will force you to position yourself in different spots. Ultimately, this will force you to make clean hits on the threat targets. The tricky part is hitting the threat targets while keeping the no-shoot targets untouched.
It can definitely be a tough drill and depending on who sets it up, it can be a good competition among friends. Giving yourself a reference to fall back on during a stressful situation can be the difference between doing something correctly or causing innocent people to get hurt. One of the main goals for someone who carries a concealed firearm is to protect innocent lives. It’s important to stop the threat while minimizing collateral damage.
This is a tricky subject and I will be the first one to admit that. It’s hard to safely minimize collateral damage if you find yourself cornered by an attacker. It’s important to at least try to prepare yourself with a couple drills just to familiarize yourself with new skills rather than dealing with people behind your attacker. It helps when you have previous experience to fall back on rather than dealing with something for the first time under stress.
Now don’t get me wrong, in certain situations, it may be hard to completely minimize the danger to people around but it’s important to do everything you can to keep innocent bystanders out of the line of fire. This is both a legal issue and just something that you’ll have to live with every day after the encounter. Personally, I don’t practice the target position drills a ton throughout the year. Regardless, I think it’s important to at least be familiar with the idea of positioning yourself to stop a threat. Doing this while keeping innocent bystanders out of the firing line is the end goal. Let me know what your thoughts are on keeping your backstop clear in the comments below. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a message on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.