It will only take a second
It is mid-summer in Eastern NC with record high temperatures reaching into the low hundreds. You realize you’re out of propane and you need to make a run to the local Lowes to simply conduct a propane exchange.You shout to the wife “be right back, it’s only going take a second”.You grab the essentials for the fifteen-minute trip to include the cell phone, keys, wallet, and of course a Monster Zero from the fridge.You jump in the truck and it's business as usual. Although today what you didn’t know, and let’s face it how could you, is that another person is also making a trip to that very same Lowes with a much different agenda in mind.
A short drive, your favorite tune, a frosty Monster and you’ve made it to the Lowes to yet again drop more coin for the third time this weekend. You stroll in passing the Girl Scout cookies being sold on one side and none other than the Sabretts guy on the other. No time for that, your target locked on getting what you came for and not buying the tools on sale in the center of the travel isles.You grab your tank and head to self-check out. Almost home free and back on the road when you hear the distinct sound of what you believe to be gun shots, and just for a moment you think no way it must be something else, anything else but that. However, these sounds of gunfire are directly followed by people shouting, screaming, and are paired with what sounds like a stampede of people coming in your direction.
So let’s pause for just a second here, you didn’t have plans for this to happen, you just ran out for a second to grab gas for the grill. It’s Saturday afternoon, the suns out, all is well in your world, no way this is happening now. Well guess what it is.Granted we are playing a what if game here and the true statement of “it depends” as we often say, is definitely at play as well.However, you got what you got in this case and now it’s time to make a decision. You start to consider your options, while little do you know an armed disturbed individual is about to shorten that list of options for you.
As you consider your options and your duty as an armed citizen, a man holding a firearm catches your attention from out of the corner of your eye. No problem right, you have brought a firearm to the fight as well. You’re now working angles on an individual who you presume is an active threat, in which you have every intention of stopping from hurting you or anyone else for that matter. Keep in mind during this chess match of sorts, the chaos of the crowd is still on going. We can presume that folks have been shot, injured, and are even potential dead or are dying. As you attempt to close the distance and scan through the openings between the boxes on the shelf, trying to just simply acquire this guy, you begin to think about the items you have on your person. You’re mind takes you back to just twenty minutes prior when you told the wife you’d just be gone for a second as you grabbed the essentials and ran out the door. However, did you really grab what you needed? Were you only going to be gone for a second? Was that the last thing you’d ever say to her? This wasn’t the plan at all, if you’d have known this situation was going to take place you would have grab the back up mag that was directly next to your Glock 19 you quickly holstered on your way out. I mean it would have easily fit in one of the twelve hidden pockets on your high speed pants. What about that Nato Tourniquet? Why didn’t I grab that? Its small, its minimal, to be honest you remember often times forgetting its even in your pocket when you came home at night and dropped your pants in the laundry, what’s the odds I may need that piece of essential kit by the end of this encounter. You had a plan to just be gone for a second, what you didn’t count on was this guy had a different plan and you just so happen to be a part of it.
Ok, let us stop here at this point in the story and discuss or evaluate some things. I know what you’re thinking so stop me if I’m wrong. I would have advanced on that guy immediately and burned him down, paid for my tank of propane and would be eating steak within the hour. Well probably not in that the direct order would those tasks have actually happened, but hey, everyone has a plan right, this is assuming we are still on that it’s only going to take a second plan. So, we could immediately attack the idea that this wouldn’t happen like described or circumstances would be different ect. Well maybe, but maybe not. You choose to charge a round into the firearm before carrying it right? We do this for what reason, none other than to save a life or take a life if need be. The point is you probably haven’t had to use that round or rounds, but it’s there. Should we not treat the med gear and spare mag the same? Point being of this narrative was not to give you exact circumstances in which you can counter with predetermined calculated decisions based on a specific set of indoctrinated principles. This story’s scenario was laid out to make you consider that maybe there are other people amongust us in the world that have a different plan that day than we do. It’s not so crazy to think we may find ourselves in a situation in which the decisions of others may alter our lives and the lives of those we care about most.Early within my career, I heard that we don’t always get to pick the time and place referring to the bad guys attack, in fact in most cases we don’t have a say at all. A majority of the time we are reactive to the action of others and we just have to train to be that much more efficient, faster, stronger, ect. However, we can plan ahead to some degree and attempt to mitigate the outcome to the best of our ability. This obviously comes in the form of training, defensive tactics, educating our significant others that travel with us, as well as being schooled on basic medical training that could save a life. Also factored into that we can include gear, in this case our EDC gear in particular. We have all been there and we choose to get somewhat lazy at times. We grab a gun, set of keys, and the cell phone, with the idea that these items should suffice in a pinch.But wait a second here, why in the hell did we attend all those classes, conduct stress shooting drills, practice a million mag changes on the move, and attend those medical training's, if we just plan on leaving that gear at the house? Maybe we just acquired all that stuff for pocket dump photos for the gram. Nah let’s hope not.If you’ve taken the time to read this or anything related to this topic, you more than likely can use the gear you choose to spend your hard earned money on.
In order to be prepared in the worst of times, we have to practice consistent habits that will aid us in those times of distress. So give it a shot and see if it also lends to a mindset shift when carrying those items.When you gear up to leave whether that is for ten minutes or ten days, do you have what you need?Throw that tourniquet in a pocket, grab a backup magazine, and whatever else you deem appropriate for your trip. Most importantly, train to use all the items you carry.You never know when you will need that kit to save your life or more importantly the life of another.The title says it all, it only takes a second to change the course of your life. Don’t let your lack of preparation cause that change. Train, prepare to the best of your ability, and have the tools available to execute those tasks when the time comes.
Co-Owner Greer Group Training and Consulting
LE Officer assigned to a specialized plain clothes Investigative Division / SWAT Officer
NC Criminal Justice instructor