Attacked in a public place, should you shoot

What would you do?


This is where other forms of “fighting” come into play. I grew up on a farm, and can take a bull calf down if I need to. The assailants legs would be my first target. Get them in the ground and hurting quick, while I try to get to my feet and gain the “high ground” and put some distance between us. That is probably when I would go for my pistol.

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Being on the ground in a fight is not a place you want to be is what I was told many years ago by my karate instructor. There are way too many factors to say whether I would shoot or try to fight my way out of this. Mostly do I have a clear shot and no chance of hitting and injuring someone else.


I read the article early this morning and it did make me think. I forwarded it on so we could have a discussion about it.

My first thought was “use on body carry”. I also know that does not work for everyone every time.

The ground is the last place to be. I did think initially that you should be trying to get over on your back so that you can use your legs etc. Nope, not perfect. I have been on the ground in that situation, and it is especially hard if you have multiple people going at you too.

On the fence about shooting though. What if some of those legs are people trying to help break up the fight? No easy answers.

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Starting with … everything about that situation sucks, and I agree with @Lacy on not having any pat in-advance answers. Stuff to think about in this one.

I don’t off-body carry, so the purse thing I wouldn’t have to solve… but a student might. IF I were going to carry in a purse, it wouldn’t be a semiauto, it would be a revolver, and it wouldn’t be behind a zipper. In a desperate situation, at grappling range, a revolver could be fired without drawing it from the purse.

While my martial arts experience is limited, I know from a lifetime of working horses that moving away from a kick will get you far more damage than moving into it. If I couldn’t get clear of the attacker, moving inside the punch to grappling distance might give me good target access, gun drawn or revolver-through-the-bag.

Shooting moving legs at close range… not a good chance I’d be successful there. Supine… more possible.

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These types of scenarios are why I strongly discourage any form of carry that doesn’t have your firearm attached to you. If you’re going to carry in a purse or other bag have one designed specifically for carry with a “gun pocket” and reinforced cut proof/resistant straps.

Carry it with the strap over the opposite shoulder from the side your bag is carried on.

One of the reasons I strongly encourage people to carry a readily accessible knife on their offhand side is to give them an option that enables them to keep an attacker at bay, disable/discourage them, giving you the ability to create distance and safely draw from a point of advantage are scenarios like this one.

I also teach a method of knife use specific to this type of scenario.

In a situation like this either as the aggrieved party or 3rd party I would not hesitate to use whatever level of force necessary and appropriate for the conditions.

This is also a great reason why you need to learn to fight from your back and other unconventional even uncomfortable positions.

If you are on your back and use your legs to keep the assailant off of you it gives you ample time to draw and that alone will hopefully end the event, if it doesn’t you need to be able to shoot accurately and effectively from the supine position.

A good scenario for thought and practice because it’s a very real world example of a common attack and outcome.