Saturday, April 11, 2015

21 Ft. Rule

What is Your Safe Distance to Engage the Threat: The 21-Foot Rule

What is Your Safe Distance to Engage the Threat: The 21-Foot Rule
Several of the fastest wide receivers and running backs in the National Football League can run 120 feet (40-yard dash) between 4.24 and 4.27 seconds. It is well-documented that many football players can run 120 feet in about 4.5 seconds. Football players at most positions and average-fit people can run about 20 feet in about 1.5 seconds or slightly less. This seems almost unbelievable, but it is true. So can some “bad guys.” So, is the 21-Foot Rule a sufficient guideline for deciding at what point and when to draw, present, and use your defensive gun before being overcome by the “bad guy?” Is it a safe distance for adequate reaction time to stop the threat? Some think so and some think not. Some think it should be a 30-Foot Rule and some jurisdictions have changed to it, e.g. certain jurisdictions in Texas, Georgia, Florida, and others.
Time, Distance, and Accuracy
This month I attended two NRA advanced and intermediate-level concealed carry courses near Atlanta, GA, Personal Protection Outside the Home. One of the instructors, a middle-aged female (average build & physical fitness), guided me in a 7-yard special drill. At the range, we were positioned back-to-back and she had her hand on my shoulder. I was the “good guy” and she was the “bad gal.” When she removed her hand from my shoulder, I was to unholster my gun from beneath my concealment shirt and fire 2 non-sighted shots at the target in front of me down range at 21 feet, while she (as the attacker) ran in the opposite direction up range. She stopped as my first shot was fired. As the good-guy shooter, I was successful only if one of my shots hit someplace in center-mass target and if she as the bad-gal runner did not cover 21 feet. Time is a very important personal-protection variable. We don’t want a “tie” with the attacker and defender in terms of time. The defender needs to win the time race. No excuses for this keyboard commando, but I tried to be quick and she covered about 24 feet before I accessed my concealed gun, drew it, and fired my two rapid shots. Both my shots hit center mass, but it took me too long to do it. In reality, I would be severly injured or dead, especially if the attacker was a lean and fit 25-year-old. This really hit home for me and I had been practicing my presentation, accuracy, and was not under undue stress. I was even aware in advance that my decision would be to draw and then that I would need to fire quickly. Luxuries usually not available when involved with your dynamic personal-protection situation. Being assaulted by a quick, on-rushing maniac or a crazy with a knife, gun, or other weapon is certainly different than practicing range shooting skills on a paper plate from the seven-yard line.

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