Responding with Less Than Deadly Force

October, 2019                                                                      
By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch


Last month’s article was on responding to an incident with deadly force.  But; deadly force is not always a necessary response! 

We are continuing our series in preparation for action; and continuing the theme on mental preparation. 

Responding to a threat may require the use of deadly force; but it may also only necessitate “less than deadly force”!  Consider the situation in which we started last month’s article.  The response with deadly force to that incident was considered excessive buy a jury of peers.

With that thought; what could our response be if not with a firearm?  This month’s article is the first in a series of articles to identify and discuss “less than deadly force” responses in confrontational situations.  Note: There is no order, precedence or escalation of order regarding the responses discussed here.  The response is based on the situation and your position at the time of the confrontation. 

So, Here we go…

We have all had the experience where someone has “gotten in our face”.  For most of us, we ignored the assailant and walked away; but our senses were a little more attuned should that “in your face” experience begin to escalate!

So, if we are counting responses; response one is to ignore and walk away.  Most of the time, this will end any potential confrontation and possible threat.

But; let’s enhance the scenario and say that the confronter become offended with you ignoring them and walking away, or they are just out to disrupt the peace and accelerate the “in your face” behavior.  Visualize the Antifa movement; and their actions if you need an example.

Depending on the situation; and every situation will be different, you may have to turn and initiate a stern dialogue with the individual.  Your tone, your posture, your stare may be all that is necessary to turn the individual away.  If you are with others; your response may be more enhanced or more subdued depending on the potential danger you sense directed at them.

If trying to evade doesn’t get the confronter to leave you alone, then standing your ground will probably do the trick.  Most of the time, these types are just trying to stir things up; they are not actually looking for a confrontation.  Taking a stance and positioning yourself as a momma bear protecting her cubs will most like de-escalate any further provocation.

Consider this response as the second in the potential series of responses…

At this point; let’s take a step back to consider the final response for today’s discussion.  As mentioned earlier, these responses are not in order of escalation, just a listing.  But our third response of the day, isn’t really a response per se; but preventive measure.

In every personal protection class we are aware of and most articles we’ve read; the best response to a confrontation is to avoid it!  If we can evade the potential of a confrontation; we can ignore the risk of a threat.

“How can this be possible?” you ask.  Our answer is to think “Situational Awareness”.  Having a heightened sense of the events surrounding you, you can make decisions to avoid or evade environments that could pose a risk or threat and ignore the potential confrontation altogether!

Several years back, an inquiry regarding the ability to teach situation awareness was asked.  After much thought and quite a bit of research; it was concluded that we could teach or enhance how we sense the world around us.  Watch our calendar for an upcoming “Victim Proofing Women” class to get started.

We’ve pointed out several responses to a confrontation that have no physical action at all; evade or avoid, walk away and stance.  With the second two, your pulse will pick up, your fight or flight mode will kick in and the body will pump an excessive amount of adrenaline into your system.  You’ll notice that once in a secure place, you are going to feel “wired”.  But you are safe and can continue with your life.

Next month we’ll begin the discussion on physical response; so stay tuned.

We want the customers of Saddle River Range, our friends and members of our community to continue to live a safe and crime free life.  But we also want you to be prepared; practically, physically and mentally.  Check out this month’s class schedule and sign up for something that will challenge you and better prepare you should you need to act. 

It’s a dangerous world out there; learn what you need to know and practice your skills.


Stay Alert, Stay Safe.                                                                                                                     


© Copyright 2019 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

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