If you are reading this, then you are probably the type of person who would be willing to fight back against a terrorist attack using your guns.
The fact is that more and more terrorist attacks are going to be occurring on American soil because the “Global War on Terror” includes the USA now.
That means, if you have a gun and you carry it (as you should), you ought to put some thought into how you would fight back against a possibly suicidal team of terrorists who is intent on racking up the biggest body count possible.
Here’s a fact: terrorists love bombs.
Terrorists Love Explosives Because They’re Very Effective
Explosives can kill a LOT of people all at once. Especially in a crowded area. That’s why terrorists like them.
In Greg Ellifritz’s excellent article “Armed Citizen Response To Terrorist Bomber” he points out how deadly bombs are (emphasis mine):
“Time, distance, and shielding are the only defense. Realize that a 20lb suicide bomb vest loaded with shrapnel is dangerous within 400 meters. That’s a long distance! Recent research has determined that 15 meters (about 50 feet) is the distance that means the difference between life and death in most suicide bombing incidents. If you are within 15 meters of the bomber when he detonates, you will likely die. If you are beyond 15 meters, you will likely live, but may be seriously injured. Ultimately, whether you live or die depends on the terrain, the type of bomb and shrapnel and how far away from the bomb you are. The farther away you can get, the better off you will be. Ideally, distance combined with some type of cover that will stop shrapnel and projectiles is best. “
So terrorists today like to use a combination of guns and explosives.
How can you be more prepared?
If You Are Going To Fight Back, You Need To “Shoot Them In The Face”
Watch this (graphic) video below to see a hero cop that responded to one of the terrorists in the recent Istanbul Airport Attack. The cop shoots him, the terrorist drops and his rifle falls away and the it appears the officer then realized the terrorist had a bomb of some sort and the policeman tries to run away. As I understand it the officer was still killed.
What’s the only solution to successfully fight back against a terrorist? As Gabe Suarez says, “shoot them in the face”:
“Solution? Simple – shoot them in the face. If you shoot most creatures on earth in the face, they will tend to stand down from the fight. I am even aware of a case where a man brought down a bear with a magazine full of .40 S&W. Imagine that. Surely a human will require less.
Like any target discussion, we have a tiered system for desirable placement. In the best case, shoot them in the eyes. A skilled marksman, with an accurate and modern weapon can make eyeball shots at room distances of ten to fifteen feet. The way to a terrorist’s brain is right through the eyes. If you are an overachiever, go for the tear duct.
Next best placement area is bordered thus: eyebrows to moustache and inside the outer corners of the eyes. This is the “face” proper and an easy area to penetrate through into the brain. It is also much larger than the internal-affairs-approved pelvic shot.
The objective of the shot is flaccid paralysis. This is a common result when the bullet enters the “best target zone” in a terrorist’s face. When the bullet enters thus, it tends to strike the medulla oblongata causing flaccid paralysis. The subject is incapacitated instantaneously preventing involuntary muscle contraction that may pull the trigger or detonate an explosive device.
Expanding from there is the head proper. Some will eschew anything outside the last targeted zone, and truly that will yield the greatest return on investment. However, let’s consider the following.
It is easy to knock someone into unconsciousness by hitting them on the forehead with a baton or a heavy metal flashlight. A boxer or MMA fighter can knock someone out with a punch to the jaw or mouth. Are we to assume that a punch to the mouth will have a solid effect, but that the 9mm or 40 round will simply be ignored? As well, anyone who has ever been punched in the throat will verify that a throat punch is not anything to be scoffed at.
So the extended target area extends from the eyebrows, down to the base of the throat, or the suprasternal notch. So we are looking at a roughly 8” X 4” box we can throw lead into. To give a better idea take a standard 8.5×11 piece of paper and fold it in half. That is about it. This is much easier to hit than the lawyer-fearing pundits would think, and easier to turn someone off most Riki-tik.”
It’s Important To Understand That Shooting a Terrorist With a Bomb Will Most Likely Get You Killed Too …
If you have no other option and the terrorist has brought the killing to you, then of course, fight back. So if you must fight back, and you must shoot, shoot them in the face.
But this is also real life …
Greg Ellifritz again introduces us to reality:
” … The problem is that even if you immediately incapacitate the terrorist with headshots, there’s no guarantee that you will be safe. The bomb could be on a timer. The bomb could be remotely controlled by a handler. You just don’t know. That’s what I mean. Taking the shot may save the day. It may also get you killed.
For a hand carried or worn bomb vest, one must be between 200 and 400 meters away from the blast to be safe from the shrapnel. None of us are going to make a pistol shot through a crowded airport at 200 meters. If you are close enough to take the shot, you are within range of being killed by the bomb.
Luckily, this cop’s shots to center mass didn’t detonate the explosive vest. That wasn’t the case in Paris, where one of the cops hit a bomb vest and blew up the bomber. The unstable homemade explosives in the bomb vest may detonate when hit by a bullet. That means headshots should be the rule. How far away can you reliably make a headshot under stress? Most of you won’t be able to do it beyond 50 feet. Some of you may have to be much closer.
The bad news is that in all suicide bombing attacks studied, victims within five meters of the bomb suffered 100% fatalities. At the 15 meter range (around 50 feet), the victims were slightly more likely to live than die after the blast. Anyone inside of 50 feet is more likely to die than live. How far away can you guarantee a headshot again? If you are close enough to make the shot, you will have at best a 50% chance of survival if the bomb blows.
These are sobering statistics, but they are critical to understand. If you choose to play the hero and engage the bomber like this heroic cop, you will likely suffer his same fate.”
Here’s How To Practice Face/Head Shots …
This is a super cheap — and effective — way to practice your accuracy:
*** Cut up every cardboard box that is going in the trash
*** Staple a 3×5 index card to it. That’s your target!
*** Put 6 aimed shots into the 3×5 card at 3 yards, 5 yards, and then 7 yards.
*** At 3 yards, the goal is to have all six bullet holes touching. After that, all shots need to hit the card. If all six shots hit the card, increase to the next distance (if you’re advanced keep moving back to 10 yards, 15, etc. Try one handed, etc).
I would consider someone a “good” combat marksman if they can put all 6 shots in the 3×5 card from the 7 yard line at will.
Meaning, you can walk onto the range “cold” and draw your concealed carry pistol — and every time — you can put all 6 shots into that 3×5 card without fail.
Consistency is key … that’s because you don’t do “better” in a life-or-death situation — you simply default down to the highest level of training you have mastered.
Why The 3×5 Index Card?
Well first off, it’s super cheap. No need to waste money on expensive targets (or even printing them out). You can order like a 1,000 of these things for little more than $10 bucks.
Second, and most importantly, the 3×5 index card is almost the perfect size to mimic the “cranio-ocular cavity” target – the area on the head between the eyebrow line and the moustache line (Right between the eyes).
When you put a bullet there, you will shut down an attacker’s central nervous system like Suarez was discussing. It’s what they call a “no reflex” kill zone.
Keep Practicing Head Shots, But Be Aware That Distance Is The Best Defense …
It’s good to practice face/head shots if you intend to fight back against killer terrorists …
But it’s also important that you understand the reality of explosive threats. I have not yet taken a good explosives class, but you should at the very least read Greg’s excellent articles on the matter:
Those will get you started. Keep preparing and keep training.
If you do the 3×5 index card drill, post how far you made it in the comments.