The Strategic Retreat

Discussion in 'Training' started by lklawson, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    A post on sister-forum TheKTOG had me thinking about this subject. Then, as fate would have it, I ran across an article in the archives of The American Rifleman which dovetailed nicely with the subject.

    The Strategic Retreat
    by Paul Rackley - Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    There are many scenarios where there might be a reason to defend life and family, but there are just as many where the smartest move is to conduct a strategic retreat.

    Every scenario must be considered individually with the best course of action being determined by the situation. Many factors come into play to determine your course of action such as the number of assailants, the location and whether family members or innocent bystanders could get hurt. And all this has to be done very quickly.

    A great example of this was on Personal Defense TV. On the show, host Tom Gresham conducted a force-on-force drill where an armed man walked into a store to conduct a robbery. This was a training exercise to determine the best course of action. They conducted the scenario multiple times with changing factors to eliminate any prior knowledge of what would happen.

    In the first scenario, Gresham shoved back from the counter, drew his air-soft sidearm and shot the bad guy. Unfortunately, a second bad guy in the corner got him from behind. In the second try, once again, Gresham ended in a bad way. However, in the final try, Gresham assessed the situation, realized he couldn’t win and rushed out the door to safety herding bystanders with him. I asked Gresham about this show while on a prairie dog hunt in Wyoming last year. He told me that this scenario had been designed specially to help people realize that sometimes fighting isn’t the best course of action. In this case, the only time he “survived” was when he retreated.

    Now this is just one of the many scenarios where retreat might be the best course of action. Every situation has multiple factors that can change constantly. If you’re going to carry a gun for self-defense, you have to continuously assess everything that is happening around you to determine the best course of action, and remember, just because you have a gun, doesn’t mean the smartest move is to use it.

    Peace favor your sword,
  2. I make no claims to be an expert or have any sort of training on this subject but as a gun owner it's something I've thought about from time to time and I think these are words to live by.

  3. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    There are a few scenarios they did not use....

    - you attempt to retreat and are shot and killed.
    - you attempt to get others away and they are shot and killed
    - you attempt to talk down the bad guy and are shot and killed
    - a customer tries to take out the bad guy and you are shot and killed
    - the phone rings and the bad guy is startled and shoots you
    - the bad guy shoots you immediately

    The possibilities are endless as to what "may" happen. How you should or could react in any given situation has so many variables to take into consideration that there can never be just one single best answer as to what you should do.

    The best thing to do is to train to react quickly and decisively in taking any action that you take or that may present itself; be that running, shooting, throwing something, or any other actions that may present themselves.

    Remember an important fact: Action is always faster then reaction. ;)

  4. Outlaw

    Outlaw Supporting Member

    The Catch 22 of that important fact is "The correct action". The wrong action could result in life w/out parole. :eek:
  5. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    Yes, however in the context of this discussion it is around scenarios where an armed individual is committing an act of armed robbery. If your course of action were to stop the threat using your firearm, it would be unlikely that you would get life w/out parole. In fact, in many States you would not even get booked. :)
  6. Outlaw

    Outlaw Supporting Member

    Agreed. I was leaning more toward what might happen if one of YOUR stray bullets takes out a kid or little ole lady in the process. Your points are valid. I was just playing the devils advocate.
  7. Rerun

    Rerun Supporting Member

    I once helped My cousins build an American Hogan into the side of a hill ~ It would hold all ten of my cousins and me at the same time!

  8. histed

    histed Supporting Member

    Thanks Kirk. FWIW, I often think we live in an age of too much macho and too many mall ninjas. Like most of you, I carry anywhere its legal to do so. I train as well as I know how and I save to go to a place like Gunsite to learn more. I'm a civilian. Period. My "job" is to protect my wife and myself - whatever that means in a given situation. If it means engaging the bad guy, so be it. If bystanders benefit from my actions, fine, but I'm no hero. If it means running, I'm good with that too. The key, as the article points out, is being aware of the WHOLE situation and acting quickly - whatever the action is.