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Speed Of Lightning, Roar Of Thunder

Speed of Lightning, Roar of Thunder

Let’s talk for a minute about three interrelated topics in the armed self-defense world, namely the sub-second draw, the stealthy or surreptitious draw, and the principles of counter-ambush

Taking them in reverse order, let me acknowledge the huge debt we owe to the late Dr. William Aprill for his work in this area, which showed us that the street criminal’s modus operandi is quite simple:

  1. I’m going to pick a target who looks vulnerable
  2. I’ll threaten them with violence
  3. They’ll give me what I want
  4. I like that

Ideally, an armed citizen should have stopped this chain of events at Step One, by not looking vulnerable. However, if that has failed, it’s that last step, where they get paid, that is our cue to act (if we can). Why? Because they have switched over from a logical, step-by step view of what’s happening to an emotional state (“Payday!”). Because of that, the bad guy is more vulnerable to fear at that moment, and we can use that vulnerability to our advantage.

But how do we use that fear? Well, when the moment arises, we bring our response into play either without the bad guy knowing about it, or doing it so quickly that they have no time to respond and show them they done messed up when they chose us as their victim. This is where the surreptitious draw and/or sub-second draw comes into play. 

Right now, I’ll bet a bunch of you are mentally going through your pistol drawstroke, picturing how you clear your cover garment and bring the sights of your gun onto the target.

However, re-read that paragraph. I didn’t use the words “pistol” or “firearm” or ”pew dispenser” or whatever, I used the words “response” and “draw.” Why? Because a pistol will not and cannot be the “one size fits all” response to violence. A pistol solves just one problem: The threat or application of lethal force at distance, from around one yard out to something that is commensurate with the skill of the user, which is usually anywhere from 15 yards to 50 yards.

That’s it. That’s all a pistol does. Closer than one yard? That’s what a knife is for, and using or displaying the lethal force of your pistol in a situation where lethal force is not authorized means you’ll probably wind up learning FAR too much about our nation’s legal system than you want to. 

So is a sub second draw important? Sure, maybe. However, if you can’t bring a defensive blade into the fight with an equal amount of speed, or have to root around inside of your purse or pocket for pepper spray, spending the hours and hours needed for a sub second pistol draw means spending time and effort that could be used on other areas of vulnerability in your life.