Ignatius Piazza: Shotgun in Your Face and .380 in Your Pocket…
June 22nd, 2009
What would you do if you were staring down the barrel of a shotgun, with a hooded man demanding your money or your life, but all you had in your pocket was five dollars and a .380 pistol?
Here is a very candid, post-shooting incident interview with a man who experienced exactly this situation and the law enforcement officials handling the case.
There are many real world lessons to be learned in this very rare and extremely educational video interview…
This is a video you are not likely to see very often.
Watch the video and then see my comments below as I point out important lessons to be learned from this incident.
First, let me say that I do not recommend, if you are ever involved in a shooting, that you agree to be interviewed in front of the press unless you have the kind of support this armed citizen has from the law enforcement officials involved and you have an attorney present. Even then, a live interview with the press is still not a good idea.
Second, the law enforcement officials involved should be commended for their strong support of the right to defend oneself, and for their support of the actions of this armed citizen.
Third, this armed citizen is a real-life hero and could not be a better example of why ‘Shall Issue’ Concealed Carry Permits are needed in every state across this country.
Legislators and Sheriffs take notice! When you deny hard-working, responsible, law-abiding citizens the ability to carry a concealed weapon, you shift the balance of power on the street into the hands of the criminals!
So let’s look at some of the lessons to be learned from this incident:
1. If you recognize someone is following you home, don’t drive home. Instead, drive to the police station. If, on your way to the police station, you see a patrol car, flash your lights and honk your horn to attract their attention. This will likely cause your pursuer to break contact.
2. Front Sight’s motto is: Any Gun Will Do — If YOU Will Do. In this incident the armed citizen CERTAINLY WILL DO! However, there are better choices for a self-defense gun than a .380.
The goal when shooting to save your life is to incapacitate your opponent, meaning your hits immediately stop a dedicated opponent’s ability to continue to fight. In most cases, a .380 will not do that. In this case, the only reason why the assailant stopped fighting is because he was not a dedicated opponent. If he had the ability to run back to his car he also had the ability to keep fighting, had he demonstrated the mindset to do so.
A shotgun against a .380 is a real mismatch, with the huge advantage to the shotgun. During a gunfight nobody ever wishes they had a smaller gun. So carry the largest caliber, loaded as hot as you can handle it, to immediately deliver incapacitating hits on your assailant.
3. If possible, carry the gun with you at all times. As you can see from this incident, you never know when you will need it. So have it with you always.
4. Mindset and training trumps equipment. It is nice to have the best equipment and training, but here is a classic example of how the armed citizen’s mindset to prevail, even against such great disadvantage, made the difference between living and dying.
5. Action Always Beats Reaction, but only if you hit with your first shot, so make sure that first shot counts! In this case, the armed citizen did just that. I’m sure the assailant, pointing a shotgun at what he believed was an unarmed man, expected a wallet or cash to come out of the man’s pocket, not a gun! This put the element of surprise in the hands of the concealed weapon holder. Understand that when you make your move, you must act with determination, speed, and accuracy.
6. Have a second gun! As the video interview proves, even after a totally justifiable shooting, the weapon you used to defend yourself is going to be held as evidence until the police no longer need it for their case. This could be days, weeks, months, or even years! It is best to have two weapons listed on your concealed carry permit, so if your primary weapon is taken into evidence, you have a second weapon to immediately carry as listed on your permit.
7. Elliot Firby is an average guy, who like most responsible citizens, just wanted to be left alone to do his work and live his life. Because he was carrying a concealed weapon and because he had the proper mindset to fight when confronted with deadly force, Elliot Firby is still alive and free.
So where is your gun right now?
Please let Mr. Elliot Firby know we appreciate him setting the proper example so legislators and law enforcement alike can see the benefits of arming the good guys.
I have a Five Day Defensive Handgun Course and new Springfield Armory XD Pistol waiting for Mr. Firby at Front Sight. Have him contact me.
And if you want the knowledge, mindset, and skill at arms to justifiably protect yourself and your family — but do not yet have a 30 State Concealed Weapons Permit, the world-class training that Front Sight provides, or a Springfield Armory XD Pistol — then take advantage of Front Sight’s Greatest Course, Gun and CCW Permit Offer Ever. (Also known as the Millionaire Patriot Offer.)
I will be posting a different article on this blog each Monday so I look forward to your visit every week.
If you have an interesting photo, story or tip about a relevant topic of interest to gun ownership, firearms training or Second Amendment issues, please feel free to send it to me at:
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See you next week.
Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Founder and Director
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute