A Question of Tactics

Today R and I were walking along, up Main Street, coming toward us were two young guys wearing baggy pants, hoodies, neck and face tattoos, bandanas. Looked like gang bangers to me. They walked on by, no problems. I had put them in the Red+ threat category. But that got me to thinking:
So I started thinking, what would I do if one of them pulled a gun.
Should I get off the ‘X’ to the left, stepping in front of R while drawing my EDC, thus shielding her from possible gun fire?
Should I get off the ‘X’ to the Right, stepping away from R while drawing my EDC, thus drawing the attention of the attacker and possible gun fire away from R?


Does R carry? With Nancy who carries off body (I don’t like it but) I would step in front of her so she could draw and enter the fight and communicate with me. :slightly_smiling_face:


IDK. Not the right answer, just hoping to contribute discussion.

Help shield her from harm by stepping in front of her:

In the wild, what do animal mothers do to protect their children? They step in between the potential threat and their baby(ies). Also as automatic reflex. It happens in a split second. No one knows if a possible perp would use their fist, spray, or a weapon.

Weighing the 2 risks:

Predators follow the path of least resistance. They are not educated, so they do not realize, she can kick both their butts.

Because they do not know better, their target would be her phone, purse, or wallet. They think it’s easier to get at than yours. Sadly, some perps aim to just strike, punch, or cut, hence taking the shielding position I suggest.

You don’t know if they’ll have a gun. By the time you see their weapon, things from there move so fast, it might be hard to think. Mentally go there now, so that your body knows where to move when it happens. Maybe think about having a plan where you don’t need to stop, pause and think, as if attacked, a perp moves fast, as they use that element of surprise to their advantage.

At that close range, if they shoot, it’s going to hit their target, hence if you are in front of her, you get hit, she not, but same if weapon was not a gun or less lethal.

However, I heard they tend to use FMJ’s instead of JHP, but even that is a risk, as it could still be JHP. Point being, FMJ might go right thru you and hit her.

One of the assaults I saw, two perps worked in tandem. One ripped the chain off of her neck, when her BF ran after the perp, he left her alone, unshielded, then the second perp grabbed her purse, while her BF was off chasing the 1st perp.

Hats off to you for keeping your cool, as some dressed like the two you saw are not always an attacker, but you kept your head on a swivel. Stay safe “and befriend” someone new. It’ll warm your heart and mind.

Hmmm, but if she’s carrying heavy, and you shield her, she would not know if you are moving L or R, and you could end up in her line of friendly fire, so if she’s carrying hot, IDK - maybe you both spread apart but away from each other’s lines of fire - God forbid it ever came to that.


Step in front of R to protect.
Regarding drawing your firearm… you have to be sure you do correct action.
If the gun was just pulled - you draw.
If the gun was pulled and aimed at you or R → you don’t draw a firearm against another firearm already pointed at you. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


I wish someone with combat experience would pitch in. Otherwise, it is academic. But here is my 2 cents - move away to be able to maneuver. You are not going to protect much from flying bullet, and thugs will be able to concentrate on both of you if you are together. By moving away you distract them, so maybe you can put up more resistance or R is able to escape (or put up more resistance).


There is no one answer that would guarantee the safety of yourself and those you wish to protect.
You have no idea how your adversary will respond. It’s like playing a chess game at Mach 2.
This is why tactics are taught one way for a time, and then they change.


If I had to choose, it would be to step to the right and away from R. Your movement and drawing of a firearm in defense becomes the attacker’s focus. More than likely they/he will be focused on your weapon and on you giving R an advantage to escape or engage if armed.

Moving to the left to “protect” R with your body may sound like chivalry but it’s tactically stupid because it gives the perps two targets in one small, neat area of engagement. At the same time, R needs to move off of the X in the opposite direction.



Did you just profile them?
Shield, you are only going to attract the attention of one, then draw, if you haven’t already. If R carries then you guys must have a plan of attack and protection.
Split left and right and each of you draws the attention of one! Possibly confusing them, then you gain the upper hand. Stopping both threats.

However, as taught here, AVOID. Turn the corner, make believe it’s your car, duck into a store, tie your shoe laces, drop a hundred dollar bill. What ever it takes to get out of their line of sight or divert their attention. Pet an imaginary dog, whatever it takes to keep you and yours safe.
IMHO, If one of them had time to draw down on you, unfortunately you were already in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The second I feel that hair go up, I’m prepared to draw, shield, communicate and seek cover, stop the threat or escape!

My wife and I have plans, code words, hand signals and predetermined places to meet should we ever get separated! Thing is, we’ll never be separated for WE are Bonnie and Clyde, the two coming down the block towards us, should have avoided, ducked into a store, it’s my street, I own it!

Maybe from now on, my wife and I dress like would be gang bangers!


I don’t live in the city so I don’t walk there much. To me the likely answer would be to ask R. Besides everyone’s answer here I am curious as to what her answer is.


"*Supposed two guys are approaching you in a parking lot and do the classic fan out maneuver. You indicate you have a weapon by clearing your gun hand and fanning your jacket at them. They are not discouraged. DRAW!

I am not saying you should pull your gun out, assume a Weaver stance, and scream “That’s close enough motherf###rs!” What I am saying is draw your gun and hold it beside your leg as you start to move to cover. I am very fond of telephone poles. Anything will do though. They will see this. They will remember they have to be somewhere else. They will not call the police.

Then you can just put your gun back in the holster and go back to whatever you were doing like nothing happened. Why? Because nothing did happen. A happening is when shots are fired.

Do not hesitate to draw. If you are somewhere you are supposed to be and someone appears who is not supposed to be there like a closed business show him the end of your gun. Could it be Mother Teresa looking for her lost cat behind your closed business? No it is some motherf###r up to no good. He won’t call the police to report he was prowling a location when a guy ran him off.*".

The entire article is a good read:


Yes I did. They had the look, they had the walk, they had the demeanor. They were, in my mind, obviously color flying gang members.


In that case I’m with @SkippySanchez, don’t hesitate!




I’ll add this to the scenario.
R does carry, a hammerless revolver in her purse. We’ve trained on the “OK OK, I’ll give you my money and keys” line then all of the sudden the purse goes BANG… but she needs to be pretty close for that to work.


That’s my go-to move.


Assuming that I felt they were a threat and we didn’t or couldn’t change our path to avoid them - and assuming I see them starting to reach for a weapon and determine they are an imminent threat - and assuming that I determine I can bring my firearm into action before they can so I decide not to consider compliance, diffusion or distraction as better options…

Under those condition I would shove my wife towards cover if possible and/or yell for her to run while I move in the opposite direction as I draw and fire. My movement facing them and fire are almost certainly going to draw their attention and fire towards me. Standing in front of her is just going to make sure the bullets are sent her way. Even if they are using high quality self defense rounds instead of cheap fmj there is a good chance at least some of those bullets go through me and hit her or miss me and hit her.


Probably give them my wallet. Somebody pulling a gun on me point blank, with at least one friend with him, “wait your turn”.

Not a fan of the “move away from significant other” option, I simply foresee two hostiles separating us now, and if I’m trying to draw on a drawn gun while doing that, probably I get shot and she…also gets shot? Gets stabbed? IDK, and what am I going to do about it while I’m getting shot as I try to get away from her?


Situational awareness = profiling
I profile everyone I come in contact with in some form or manner. Are they a visible threat based on demeanor? Are they an actual threat based on having weapons, vocal or observable characteristics? And yes, at times, certain ways of dressing or other visible characteristics also raise the threat level.


Dude, that was me! Why didn’t you say ‘Hi’?


Opps, Sorry Brother. I’m glad we just peacefully passed on the sidewalk.
Actually could have been my son and his buddies…