Right now, news is still trickling in about the deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino.
The word is the shooters — plural — arrived in a black SUV, shot up a Christmas party of some kind, and then successfully extracted before being taken down by cops watching a residence connected to the shooting suspects.
These were motivated, well trained, well equipped, body-armored assailants who were NO JOKE when it comes to their tactical skills.
Could YOU engage multiple attackers with a firearm?
We talked to tactical expert EJ Owens recently about that very topic and here are some of the tactical tips he shared with me.
3 Expert Tips For Engaging Multiple Attackers With A Handgun
They're shooting a single paper target.
What they REALLY need to do is shift their tactical thinking to engage a multiple attacker threat, like the one we saw recently in San Bernardino.
A multiple shooter gunfight isn't like a single shooter gunfight at all.
There are some things you have to realize if you're going to survive it.
Don't Assume The Bad Guys Will Cower At Your Gun
Most people think that when you whip out that smoke wagon that you’ve got sitting on your hip, the bad guy will run and panic in fear.
But understand this: the person that would try to take your life, or take something from you with a weapon, is not always a coward.
For example, when you combine drugs, alcohol, and desperation together, they provide a significant amount of false confidence.
Somebody who's messed up like that will do really crazy things — things you and I just wouldn't think about.
It would not be in your thought process to pull a gun on somebody to take something from them, whether it be a purse or their life.
A chemically altered bad guy isn't just going to run because you show a gun.
This is especially true when there are multiple attackers, because their superior numbers boost their confidence.
Process Threats In Multiple Directions
Bad guys working in pairs, or more, aren't always going to work together… but they're ALL working against you.
Each bad guy represents a different threat vector you have to take into account.
Each one of them has a direct line of attack on you, so together, multiple bad guys have multiple directions to assault you or shoot you.
We always envision that it’s going to be mano a mano, face-to-face like a little high school fight in the locker room.
It’s not going to be like that.
When you face two attackers, your decision-making has now doubled.
Your time to make a decision has just decreased by half.
The more attackers there are, the worse it gets.
Know Your Space At All Times
In a multiple attacker engagement, your movement will be reduced by a LOT.
We all have these two or three scenarios in which we’re victorious in using our firearm for personal defense.
It's normal to visualize that, but that isn't reality.
You have to be aware of your space and movement.
If you’re in a scenario where the guys are in front of you, especially such as a static range, you have the left or the right, or maybe even back to cover.
With multiple attackers though, that left side may have an attacker there, or the right side may have an attacker there.
Those options just started shrinking!
You have to be aware of where you can go in your space and what you can do within that space.
Is there cover in that space?
Is there an exit?
If you can get away and not have to use your gun, that’s victorious.
Understand That Every Additional Attacker Raises The Stakes
We’re all looking for victory here.
Everyone should pray they never have to take a life.
Should you find yourself in that situation, though, movement and time have just decreased by half, if not by two-thirds.
You have to be aware of where you can go and what you can do in that space.
Now the rest is up to you.