Early into my California CCW process some years ago I was taking my required classroom hours. One of the co-instructors, a retired LEO said something profound that has stuck with me. He said; “Your voice is your best self defense weapon.” He went on to explain it as a multi faceted tool I had never considered.
A loud, commanding challenge with your support hand extended, palm up creates an instant psychological barrier; “HEY! STAY BACK! STAY BACK!” That alone might stop a potential assailant.
It also brings the attention of potential witnesses to your situation. If the confrontation evolves, verbalizing the identity of who you are and who the potential attacker is very important; “I DON’T WANT ANY TROUBLE! I’M THE GOOD GUY! I’M THE GOOD GUY”
Witnesses, who are notoriously terrible at remembering things, now know who, is who. Rather than the first thing they hear is a gunshot, and the first thing they see is you, with a gun in your hand and a guy on the ground with no context.
If it evolves to the point of brandishing your weapon he suggested a warning and identfying yourself as a legal CCW holder; “BACK OFF! I’M ARMED, I’M ARMED! CCW, CCW!”
You’ve established a verbal barrier, identfied yourself and the bad guy to witnesses, issued a warning and established you credentials as a legal gun carrier. If the treshhold of the imminent danger doctrine is crossed, you can now articulate to law enforcement, with your lawyer present(as per instructions on your USCCA wallet card) and with corroborating witnesses, the events that led to the deployment of your weapon.
Of course, this scenario is the ideal and not always possible in the real world. I found it a great starting place for my training. When I’m on the ranch range, I practice out loud and I mean LOUD, my verbal engagement with live fire. If that’s not possible in your situation, a closet and dry fire works. I felt very uncomfortable at first doing it but, now it comes naturally.
Does anyone else practice defensive verbal engagement? If so what verbage do you use?