I’ve written quite a bit about malfunctioning guns over the years. I published Criminals and the Guns They Carry. That article was a study of all the unloaded broken and malfunctioning guns police take from criminals. I later wrote Weapon Malfunctions in the Active Shooter Environment about how commonly killers’ guns jam when they are engaged in a shooting spree.
I guess I’m not quite done done with gun jams for awhile.
I saw this attempted shooting pop up on my news feed awhile back.
Check out the short video at the link below. You will see a criminal attempting to shoot an unarmed citizen with an obviously malfunctioning semi-automatic pistol. The intended victim flees his attacker and reaches safety inside his house before the gunman runs with his still-malfunctioning handgun. The news story about the event is posted at Las Vegas attempted murder caught on video: Homeowner narrowly escapes being shot after suspect’s gun jams
Have you considered that you might face a similar attack? What would you do if a criminal’s gun is obviously malfunctioning as he tries to shoot you?
I think most untrained victims would simply freeze because their sensory system gets so overwhelmed with data that they can’t process it all. Most people have never imagined such a thing happening, and have no motor program to deal with the event. Let’s take a couple seconds to work out a plan for your situation.
I can’t tell you exactly what you should do. Every person has differing skills, abilities, and motivations. You must decide the best course of action for yourself.
What are your options?
You must make this decision by analyzing all possible responses and figuring out which will work best for you. In any criminal attack, you have several options. Look through all the possibilities and see which makes the most sense to you:
- By screaming
- By calling for help
- Take the gun away from him
- Deflect the gun
- Strike him
- Draw your own weapon
- Any combination of the above
– Run away
– Run to cover
4) Negotiate- Try to talk your way out of it
5) Bluff or Posture
– Pretend to be sick or have a heart attack
– Say something like “You can’t shoot me. You know my boys got my back right now.”
– Say “Don’t do it! There’s a cop right behind you!”
6). Freeze– the conscious or unconscious decision to do nothing
You will likely resonate with one or more of these tactics. Likewise, you will certainly find some others ridiculous. I’m not in a place where I can tell you what’s right for you or judge your actions. The only thing I can tell you is that based on my experience, freezing yields the worst outcomes. Doing ANYTHING except freezing would be a better choice.
Unfortunately, freezing will be your brain’s default choice until you find a better solution. Do your homework. What is your choice of action?