This is an excellent article from Roger Phillips of Fight Focused Concepts.
The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Open Carry Part IV
Dealing With the Unknown Quantity
If your focus is on achieving your “paramount mission” and not on “educating” and “stirring up awareness” then you need to know how to deal with the unknown quantity. If you are out there trying to “educate” then this will not apply to you, but be very aware of that fact that you are intentionally breaking solid and long established self defense philosophy of not letting unknown people close ground on you in order to converse with you. This is one of my main concerns with what the political activists preach. They want you to go out and “educate” people that you do not even know. This would fall under the “doing stupid things” so that makes you the stupid person doing stupid things.
On the other hand, if all you care about is living your life and going home to your loved ones, then you do need to know how to deal with the unknown quantity. We cannot just pull our gun due to somebody getting to close, yet we do not want the wrong people getting too close, because their percentages of a successful attack rise with every inch that they close. We need to deal with them before they close the distance.
Of course the first step to this is awareness and profiling. If you see them early enough and you identify them as not being a threat……great! But, if you see them early and your spider senses tell you “something is not right here” you need to be able to trust that feeling and know how to deal with the person that is causing that feeling. When it comes to profiling, do not immediately dismiss the attractive woman or girl as “not a threat.” Using a “friendly” to set up the mark is a tactic as old as the hills.
Once you have identified the possible threat, you need to use your “positioning” skills to avoid their approach. This can be as simple as a directional change, stepping behind a barrier, crossing a street, etc, etc…….all while scanning for additional threats or other members of the crew. This position change will put them in a place where they will either have to counter your move or call off the approach. If they counter your positioning move they are tipping their hand to their intent. If they tip their hand you need to call them on it immediately. This is where we get loud!
“BACK OFF!” “BACK OFF!” “BACK THE [expletive] OFF!”
Sometimes the street only respects the street!
If you can’t curse like a sewer rat, your point just might not get across. Embrace that inner animal and let them know that you mean serious business.
These verbal commands are all done while using your positioning skills to maintain your distance and while scanning for addition threats or members of the crew. While we are moving we want to make sure that the adversary does not have a chance to take a “snap shot” of the battle field. If you plant yourself the snap shot can be taken and the OODA loop can begin to be processed through. By constantly moving and scanning we cut down on the chances for the adversary to develop his plan of action. If these steps do not work, the adversary has shown you his entire hand. What point you go to your weapon is a very personal decision. Your line in the sand has to be perfectly clear in your mind before the confrontation ever takes place. This is the point where all of the work you did inside of the “mental aspect of the fight” comes to fruition. Remember hesitation can get you killed! Get your head straight well before hand!
Once the fight is on, do what needs to be done to dominate the situation. This may mean stay at the cover that you had already positioned yourself at, explode off the X with your dynamic movement draw stroke, or even dominate the encounter with ballistic effect if you are in a really good position.
Another skill set that you are going to want to own is the identification of “pre-attack indicators.” There are very common movements and behaviors that are almost always present when the adversary is about to launch an attack. If you know what to look for you can cut down on you being surprised dramatically. There are certain “rituals” involved right before an attack is launched.
Removing of clothing
Clenching of fists
Clenching of the jaw
Shaking of hands or twitching of fingers
Inability to stand in one place or pacing
Blading off into a fighter’s stance
The thousand yard stare
Blinking of eye quickened
Lack of eye contact
Hiding of the hands
Hiding of an empty palm
Slow verbal responses due to being occupied making a plan
All of these are signs of an imminent attack. If you know what they look like you are in a much better position to deal with them. The difference between knowing something is going to happen and not knowing something is going to happen is huge. If it comes out of “nowhere” your response time is going to be very slow. If you see it coming your ingrained responses will give you a much better chance to deal with the attack.
As we see, the idea that relying on “the mere presence” of the gun is a lowest common denominator mindset. There is so much out there to learn if you want to be as safe and as deadly as you can possibly be. Please do not make the mistake of listening to those that do not know what they do not know.
The more you know the earlier you can get into the fight. The earlier you get into the fight the higher your chances are of coming out victorious. When we talk about this “time period” to get into the fight earlier, we are talking an exponential difference between your chances of being victorious. The more knowledge you have the more off sides you can be. You do not need to be attacked before you can fight. All you need to be able to do is articulate your reasonable fear of a life threatening or grievously bodily harm attack.
The more you know the better you will be. Do not settle for being lowest common denominator. The gun is not a talisman that wards off evil!