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GUN! How To Respond When A Gun Is Pointed At You

Run! Seriously, if a handgun is pointed at you and there are more than 30 feet between you and the gunman, do not let him get any closer. Run in zig-zag as much as possible. At that distance, even seasoned shooters will have a hard time hitting a moving target. 

However, in cases where you have no other options but to stay and face the gunman, here are 5 things you can do to appease the situation. 


If there’s one important thing you have to remember among all these tips, it’s this - stay calm. You won’t be able to think clearly once you start to panic. In turn, you’re going to cause panic to the person holding the gun. He may even start to fire at you. Remember that your assailant has leveraged control over your physical movement but you’ll have a psychological advantage if you keep calm. 


The next thing you should do is establish and maintain eye contact with the assailant. By doing so, you are forcing them to acknowledge. This way, they might start to feel uncomfortable and will hesitate to do anything to harm you. 

Assailants usually have different motives, but there’s one common denominator: they do not intend to kill you. Because if they do, you’d already be dead. Usually, it’s to strike fear. 

What you want right is for them to reconsider their actions and start looking for another way out. 


While you’re in a close encounter with your assailant, try to find something unique about their features. If you can, keep a mental note of their height, weight, facial features, birthmarks, piercings, tattoos, and language style. These will all help the police in identifying the criminal later. 


As mentioned, assailants have different reasons for gun-pointing. The most common is “robbery.” So remember this: your life is more valuable than whatever is in your wallet or bag. If someone is robbing you, they don’t want your life, they need your money. Most often, giving them what they want will make them go away. 

When giving your valuables though, never hand it to them. Throw them away from both of you so it gives you an opportunity to run away while the assailant tries to get them. 


In some situations, the only thing you can do is to talk to your assailant as much as possible. Try your best to sell your story to make them put the gun down. “Hey man, we can work this out. Please don’t shoot.” You may even use some guilt, “Hey man, my kid is sick and I’m trying to get medicine for her.”

Then, try to get them to speak about their reason compelling them in the situation. As you speak, deliver in measured, even tones as you try to assess their intelligence and passion. Creating a social connection will help them decide the better thing to do. 

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