Buying a gun for self defense is a big step in a self defense plan. It is a very powerful and effective tool and when used properly, it has the potential to allow people who are smaller, weaker or outnumbered to prevail in a dangerous attack. But the tool by itself is not usually enough to give you the best chance to win the fight.

The video below shows an attack that happened a couple weeks ago in Denver. The young man who was attacked was ambushed by multiple attackers who were able to quickly beat him into submission. Once he was on the ground, he was essentially defenseless.

Let’s say that this man was armed with a handgun. By the time the fight actually started, he had already been hit once in the head hard enough to knock him to the ground. The time it would take him to react to this new reality doesn’t give him the opportunity to get to his gun and deploy it. I would argue that if you ran this same scenario 100 times, you would be lucky to have one instance where the guy was able to get his gun out and use it.

Situational awareness is a key factor in self defense but many people throw that term around without really bothering to learn what it means or how to use it to help you. Situational awareness starts with the mindset that while 99.9% of the time, the world is a safe and predictable place, you must leave space in your mind that very bad things can happen and they can happen anywhere. If you are in a situation where something feels off, you must be able to allow yourself to ACT accordingly, even if it means doing something that seems unusual.

If we watch this video a little more closely, we can see that these 4 attackers were riding the train with the victim. There’s no way to know for sure what took place on the train but it certainly appears that the victim was caught off guard by the approach of the 4 attackers. The victim allowed himself to be coaxed off the train when it should have been obvious that something was wrong. The attackers appear to have singled him out for the attack, which we can see by the fact that they let the first passenger off the train to walk right through them. Very often there are a lot of clues leading up to an ambush like this and in this case it is likely that there were cues taking place on the train before it arrived at the station. It appears that the victim was somewhat oblivious the moment he approached the exit.

He may have been attacked either way whether he retreated further into the train or not. But if he had paused and taken a different action rather than walking straight into the ambush, he would have bought himself some time. It may not have been much time, but time is like GOLD in a defensive encounter. Time provides options and the more options you have the higher chances you have of taking effective action to win the fight.

To further increase your options and chances of winning the fight, training will help you develop usable skills and tools. There is no doubt that when you are facing 4 attackers intent on turning you into a bloody pulp you are at a severe disadvantage and your chances of winning are in serious jeopardy. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot win. A gun is a very effective tool at evening the odds in the fight, but without the time to use it, it won’t be much help. Paying attention to your surroundings, and more specifically, the PEOPLE in your surroundings, is a skill and its a skill that helps buy the time you need to defend yourself. I encourage you to invest your time into learning this skill and developing it into something you are good at.

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