How to Disarm a Criminal with a Gun


Firearms have been a vital part of our culture for centuries. Whether you like that fact or not, there is no denying it. A blessing and a doom, guns are regular characters of stories both encouraging and sorrowful. They give you a sense of security when kept in your nightstand, they threaten your life, pointed at your face in the dark alley. Calling firearms something out-of-the-ordinary doesn’t capture the truth in the slightest. Yet, however accustomed to firearms one might be, no one is ever ready to be attacked with one.

Even if you live in a troubled neighborhood and are aware of the chances, even if you know a guy who was robbed, things always feel different when it comes to you. It doesn’t mean you’ll inevitably freeze like a doe watching the car lights approaching, fear gripping you by the throat preventing you from thinking clearly. There are many things you can do to at least increase your chances of managing the stress and regaining the ability to think in this mayhem. You might take up a self-defense course to learn the disarming techniques and put your hope in the magic of muscle memory. You might watch a ton of educational YouTube videos and read a dozen or two articles to get a better grip on the theory and become mentally prepared. You might open your browser and type gun store near me into the search box since “fight fire with fire” tactics do prove to be useful from time to time. You never know which ticket might turn out to be your lucky one, and if hours of watching videos will convert to you being able to fight the initial shock, so be it. With that being said, we all need to remember that all the efforts are for getting a chance, not for nailing the situation.


What Are The Chances?

Disarming a criminal. How good of an idea is that? Will you even have a chance to do that in the first place? Firearms are range weapons, after all, why would anyone want to sacrifice the benefit of the distance? Many questions arise when you start to muse on that perspective. First things first, the chances are the criminal will indeed come close enough to grant you that opportunity. Being aimed at from 30 feet is already scary enough, but when somebody points a gun right into your face, the fear effect is drastically stronger. The criminal would want to appear intimidating to dominate the situation. Besides, there are about a dozen risk factors they would want to avoid by closing the distance. Assailants don’t pop out of the corner with an AR-15 in both hands. They want to be as discreet as possible, not to draw unnecessary attention. So, statistically, you are likely to have a chance to disarm an attacker. Now, is it really worth a shot?

To avoid any confusion, we are not suggesting you should stand still and let that nightmare happen to you. But we can’t advise you to risk your life in an attempt to confront the criminal either. It would have been nice if someone gathered statistics on successful disarms carried out by civilians, but we have what we have. We can reassure you by saying that if you got into that pickle, things are not that dire because the attacker has no intention of killing you (otherwise, they’d probably lead with that, sparing you any worries). If you get paralyzed with fear, refuse to cooperate, or show resistance, the situation might develop in a number of ways. The majority of assailants proceed with using severe, but non-lethal force (like smacking with the pistol) to make you do their bidding. A smaller percentage resort to more “persuading measures” and can shoot you in a spot, unlikely to be fatal, like a leg. Some of them can altogether abandon the offense if the victim gives them too much trouble. But there are also people who won’t shun doing away with the uncooperative victim. On one side, statistically, you are more likely than not to survive that encounter, which is reassuring. On the other, trying to stray off the scenario suggested by the attacker increases the chances of you ending up either injured or dead. Encounters like that are stressful for both parties, and stress might force people to make decisions far from reasonable. You wouldn’t want to tempt fate or taunt the attacker. Maybe, parting with your wallet is a price not too high to pay. But maybe, money is not what they are asking. You are the only one who determines if the risk is worth taking.       

Fighting Fair Doesn’t Work

Let’s say that you had a fracture of a second to make a decision, and that decision was to fight back. What tricks do you have up your sleeve to turn the tide? Will years of boxing come in handy? A sword fight scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark might give the general idea of the balance of powers in that situation. The thing about martial arts and boxing is that they focus on unarmed fighting. Such skills will come in very handy should you find yourself in a brawl, and fights performed by professionals make for quite a spectacular view. However, the value of fighting skills in an armed assault situation is a more disputable question. Regardless of how many techniques you know or how strong your punch is, you will need to focus all of your efforts on disarming the attacker. That feat is by no means easy, as you will be trying to outpace the pull of a trigger, which doesn’t take an awful lot of time. Too much is at stake, and too severe is the penalty for failure. For that reason, your initial action should be to redirect the barrel. If you succeed in that, then you can resort to all sorts of foul tricks. If you are determined to go through with the disarming plan, you should grab the gun by the slide. In that case, it will be able to fire only one round (which you hopefully evaded by redirecting the barrel). You can further continue your fight without fearing getting shot. Just remember not to let go of that slide.

Not On Paper, But In Action

The truth is that there is no universal plan of action when it comes to being assaulted. The biggest problem is that stress prevents you from thinking clearly, not allowing you to evaluate the risks of different behavior strategies. A lot depends on the situation you find yourself in. If you happen to be in a grocery store that got broken into, concealed carry might be your best choice. You can hide behind a rack, pull it out, and make the first shot. Trying to single-handedly disarm a robber might be the last thing you’ll try to do since the greater the distance separating you, the more time they’ll have to react. If you get mugged, a CC handgun becomes a more risky option. With the number of manipulations involved in drawing and aiming, you risk provoking the criminal to do something even more reckless. In such close-range confrontations, a lot also depends on where the gun is pointed. It takes more time to redirect a barrel pointed at a chest area than one pointed at the head. If you were taken aback from behind, you have a good chance of pivoting and getting the barrel to look somewhere above your shoulder. In that case, even if the attacker pulls the trigger, the shot might go awry. If you remember to grab the gun by a slide, that shot might be the only one the criminal will make. How risky are all the mentioned feats? Extremely. Even if you manage to evade the first shot, you might lose the disarming fight and leave the attacker even less lenient than they initially were. The game might not be worth the candle if you are getting robbed. But if you are being dragged or forced into the vehicle, or face any other danger you perceive as mortal, you might very well try your luck. 



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