For the last couple of days, I've been mulling over the bus shooting in Philadelphia. This thing was bone-headed on so many levels that it is almost hard to wrap your head around as a law-abiding, normal individual of the collective hive of society. This morning, I thought I would attack it from a personal defense angle. I'm assuming that people that write and follow gun blogs view situations like this in the way that I do. What would I have done in that situation? One of the things that I do as a kind of mental exercise is seek out and find surveillance video of robberies and assaults and try to pick apart what could have been done if I was inserted into the situation while carrying concealed. It is another form of "scenario" that brings some real-life situation to your playbook. An obvious flaw is that you KNOW something is about to happen, but it's no different than running IDPA where you know you're going to shoot something. When I find a video, I watch it the first time wanting to be surprised by the events so that I may mentally react. Boy, was I surprised by these mental buffoons.
The first thing I did was determine my position. It's important to make that decision ahead of time so you don't have a tendency to put yourself in the best possible scenario. That's just human and shooter nature. Here, I put myself on the bus. I was glad I did since it offered the toughest decision on how to react.
Second, make your decisions real-time as you watch the video and then review them afterwards. Were you right? In this scenario it was tough because there were so many angles that it made it hard to make a decision. The raw footage helps make a decision from inside the bus, but after you run that scenario it cuts to outside the bus. I ran this in my head, too.
Things I noticed:
People do stupid things. Notice the unarmed people either not moving away or moving toward the threat due to their curiosity. It killed the cat, you know. It almost cost some people in this situation. It also complicates your defense scenario if you chose being on the bus.
In my head, I had to move to the threat side of the bus to engage in order to avoid someone standing up in front of me. If I would have been alone, I would have obviously chosen to move to the off-side of the bus to engage.
I chose to engage very early on when I first saw the weapons. From inside the bus, you didn't really see the weapons until they were already out. At least from the camera angle. Still, they were out of play (pointing at the ground). I chose to engage the perp with the handgun first. Why? The rifle seems like the bigger threat, but there is no stock deployed. To me it screamed ineffective at best. That doesn't mean not dangerous, there's a difference. From the angle I chose I could engage them both together. When the doors opened, the handgun dude had just run up and was standing next to rifle guy.
Shooting through glass. It sucks and this is why I was glad I put myself on the bus. It was the toughest scenario. It had to be done in this situation unless you wanted to jump right in front of the threat at the doors.
Time. For someone paying attention (and the sheep were noticing a problem soon, so you'd better have been on it before them) there was a full 10 seconds from the start of the lethal threat to engage the target. You would/should have been on high alert and in the Red Zone before that from just the physical activity.
If you were on the sidewalk at the bus stop, this threat could have been eliminated before cotton-headed ninny muggins rifle dude was able to wiggle it halfway out. Handgun idiot first, then rifle moron. This depends on what you notice first. Rifle soft-head was drawing a whole lot of attention to himself. You have to be careful. I can see getting focused on rifle moron and not seeing handgun idiot running along the bus. That could be a problem. There also appears to be a third person that keeps putting his hands down to his waist. This is where your threat scan begins.
Maybe I helped put another tool in your toolbox. If you already had the tool, how did you handle this? Even if you don't normally do this, what would your reaction have been? What might I have gotten wrong?
I may start finding and posting random videos to scenario with a 1, 2, 3, GO!