Training 7/20/2018

What’s Your Parking Garage Plan?

by Jack Carr, NRA Carry Guard National Director

You and your date are in what could be a dangerous situation. What’s your plan?

The old Boy Scout motto still rings true today—be prepared.

Are you prepared both mentally and physically for this encounter? What does being prepared look and feel like?  

Is your companion in this situation aware that something just doesn’t look right? This is a phrase you will hear in the legal portion of NRA Carry Guard and then put into practice during scenario training exercises.

Are you worried about offending someone? Being perceived as rude?

Is stress entering the picture? Is your pulse starting to race? Has your breathing changed? Are you thinking, what do I do now?

The old saying from Archilochus, circa 650 BC, applies in a modern parking garage just as it did on ancient fields of battle, “We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” Have you trained to defend yourself and your loved ones? Did you train with a firearm? Do you live in a state where you can carry concealed? If so, do you have your CCW permit? Do you carry daily? Are you carrying now? Are you carrying the weapon you train with? Do you sometimes carry a sub-compact pistol instead of a compact or full-size pistol? Do you know your capabilities and limitations with it? Do you know the condition of your weapon? Is there a round in the chamber or will you need to rack the slide? Are you carrying on your ankle? In your purse? If so, does that change anything? Is your companion carrying? Is he or she trained? Have you trained together? Have you discussed or trained in team tactics? Is there anyone else in the parking garage? Is there a way to avoid this situation? Can you turn around and leave, maybe even take a ride sharing service home? Is that a better option than continuing to press forward? What do you do if these three people start closing the distance? What if they start talking to you? What if one starts to flank? When are you legally allowed to brandish your weapon? When is too early? When is too late? Is it possible you may get in trouble for going to your pistol? If you do draw your firearm, which one of these guys should you point it at? Or, should you just come to a low ready position? What if the three of them have guns? What if they don’t? What if you see a knife or even a screwdriver? When do you call the police? What do you tell them?

At NRA Carry Guard, we understand that legally carrying a concealed weapon is a right. It is one we exercise and fight for every day. We also believe that with that right to carry comes the responsibility to train—to be prepared to deal with today’s conflict environment. A high level of weapons handling proficiency grounded in a solid foundation of fundamentals allows you more bandwidth to deal with the variables associated with what may be the most stressful situation of your life.

So What Can You Do In This Situation? 

In this situation, if you’re the male, you can maintain eye contact with the potential threats, demonstrating that you’re aware of them and that you’re not an oblivious, soft target.

It might be a good idea to unbutton your jacket and give yourself quicker access to your holster as you quickly guide your female partner into the passenger seat.

Move around the back side of the car, while maintaining awareness of the threats’ actions. Quickly get in the car and drive away, using your vehicle as a weapon if needed, but try to avoid contact with the threats altogether.

If possible, moving back to safety where you came from may be a good choice as well.  

Being prepared and aware is sometimes all it takes to avoid a dangerous situation, which is the best way to deal with danger whenever possible. Avoid it. 

Avoidance through good, solid, smart preparation is always the best course of action.

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