We learn in our Basic Officer Training to quickly assess a situation and appropriately apply The Use of Force Continuum. From our physical presence, to verbalizing commands, to employing soft techniques then hard techniques, utilizing deadly force comes into play as the absolute last resort. For those of us who carry, we hear all too often from the uninformed and the truly innocent that they know we just itch to draw that gun and pull the trigger. What a tank of horse manure. The professional officer recognizes any number of situations and responds accordingly. Noticing my surroundings, I know best when to simply extricate myself and loved ones from a given situation. For example, I walked in a crowded city area with my grown daughter recently. Ahead of us, I noticed a middle aged couple with a man walking not quite with them, but too close for comfort. I further noticed the way this individual pulled back from them. He was not with the middle aged couple. Was he planning a purse snatching? Was he planning an assault? My officer presence mode programmed me to take notice. Soon enough, this individual walked far too closely to my daughter and I. As he leaned a fraction of a degree closer to us, I immediately grasped my daughter’s arm and steered her through the crowd of people quietly commanding her, “We are MOVING, let’s exit stage left.” Firmly, competently, I averted danger. My daughter wanted to know what I saw as the problem. She thought the guy was rather comical. I said, he mumbled like a drunk. He did not wear a shirt and looked strong. One swing and we would both be knocked down. He walked on his toes, trying to hide his three day binge. With shock, my daughter wanted to know how I knew all this. I explained officer presence. First, paying attention to my surroundings saves a lot of troublesome moments. Second, responding quickly and calmly ensures safety. We did not need a gun. I never itch to draw down. More than anything, I think the drunkard itched for his next fix and I was not about to be a part of that!
NRA Firearms Instructor – Nancy Rothschild
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