A comment on this Facebook post got me thinking… I’ve taken ECQC from Craig Douglas and John Murphy’s Street Encounter Skills class. Both are terrific classes and both place an emphasis on a multi-spectral response to potentially dangerous situations. A typical scenario in each of these classes has you responding with something other than “BANG!,” and both are well worth your time and money.
Students in these classes are tasked with responding to “real world” scenarios. In ECQC, for instances, one student would play the part of an angry neighbor, and the other of an adjacent homeowner. Sometimes, those scenarios would end in a shooting match. Sometimes a shouting match (with sim guns, of course). Sometimes they’d end in a wrestling match (wearing protective gear) and sometimes… nothing would happen, and people would just yell at each other.
What didn’t happen, not once, is a student responding to an aggressive situation by pulling out a pretend cell phone and calling 9-1-1 in order to get the police out there to defuse the situation. Now, to be fair, that may happen in other classes, but it didn’t happen in the classes I attended.
I find this interesting. The police are professional de-escalators, and they can be summoned with just a few key presses on our phones. Better still, if we’re the ones who call 9-1-1, we get to set the narrative, not the dweeb who’s trying to pick a fight with us. If we’re in a situation with a loud drunk in our face, but no punches are thrown, so why not call the cops? Let’s face it, they’re going to show up eventually anyways, and it’s going to work out better for you if they show up before violence is involved.
Looking back on this, I think part of the problem is how we are taught to use the police as armed citizens. Think back to your very first concealed carry class. Where was a police response mentioned in class? If you’re like me, (and I know I am), it was mentioned towards the end, as part of the “what to do after you’ve been in a shooting” part of class. Heck, that’s where it is in the CCW presentation I use in class. I need to change that.
We teach “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away,” but sometimes, we do have minutes, and a full-spectrum approach to dealing with violence needs to take the police into account. They’re a tool in the toolbox. Maybe we should use them once in a while…