Everyday Tactical: Keeping Your Hands Free

keep gun hand free

Sometimes the simplest things we do can have a great payoff in the long run. I would like to pass one tip to all of you responsible gun carrying citizens. In a way this concept was ingrained in my mind when I was in Marine Corps Bootcamp. We were trained that, while in uniform, we were not to carry anything in our right hand. This is because your right hand should be free to render the appropriate hand salute to an officer. Once again, this concept was burned into my subconscious when attending the San Diego Regional Police Academy, except this time the reason for keeping your hands free was different. During training at the police academy, recruits were drilled on not carrying things in their strong hand/primary hand. This may seem like an insignificant lesson. However, when it comes to a deadly force incident, you will already be in a reactionary mode. In order to use deadly force, your mind and body must first observe a potential threat and evaluate if the threat justifies the use of deadly force. Next, observe the surroundings, weigh the likelihood of inflicting injury onto innocent bystanders and identify the terrain for obstacles. You will then draw your firearm, fire shots into the threat without missing, assess the effectiveness of your shots and determine when the threat no longer justifies the use of deadly force. Finally, reassess for any other threats, bystanders’ or personal injuries, and remain engaged in case the threat presents itself again, requiring deadly force. All this is happening in real time and all at once. Anything you can do to minimize the tasks you must perform is beneficial and frees up your mind to focus on the other critical calculations and decisions that are processing through your brain at an unbelievably fast rate.

One simple thing you can do is keep your gun hand free. When shopping, if possible carry your bags in your off hand. If walking to the car with your keys in your hand, carry them in your off hand. Obviously there are times, both hands are needed for a task. Nevertheless, try to free up the gun hand as often as you can. Enlist the help of your significant other or friend to “call you out” when they see you with something in your gun hand. You would be amazed at how many times you have something occupying your gun hand that would slow down the reaction time necessary to draw your firearm with a proper grip. Remember that the fanciest gun and all the training in the world do not mean a thing if you cannot get to your firearm in time. Stay safe and keep training.

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