There are two general types of disarming techniques. Both advocate the removal of the weapon from the body area as the first move. The more successful advocates an instant follow-up body attack on the gun wielder. The other one, too generally advocated by law enforcement officers, concentrates on wresting the gun from the hold-up man. If this succeeds, it still is necessary to subdue him before he can be brought in under arrest. How he is to be subdued seems to be left entirely up to the individual. In this type of disarming, there are too many possibilities of something going wrong. What starts out to be a scientific disarming trick can easily turn into just another struggle for a dangerous weapon. All disarming methods which involve handling and wresting the gun away, while it is still between the bodies of the gunman and his victim, are too dangerous to use.
The gunman who points a gun at anyone is "asking for it" and should receive rough treatment. Because of this, the student should be trained to disarm and incapacitate at the same time. If disarming is taught and advocated in a police department, it should be a type that will give the officer confidence in its use; and it should be efficient enough to discourage like attempts in the future, by the same or other criminals.
At the best, the disarming of a man who holds a loaded firearm involves a certain amount of risk. If this risk can be calculated, and if the person held at gun point realizes that he has a good chance of success, he will undertake to disarm his opponent. If it has been shown in practice that he can do an effective job without too much personal risk, by a method he has proved to himself during his training, there is a much greater likelihood that he will disarm an enemy if he is given the opportunity. He will also apply himself to practice much more assiduously. After all, when a man holds a loaded gun at your stomach and you are going to start an action to disarm him, you start something that must be finished, the sooner the better. Disarming in actual practice is a very personal matter and one that must be undertaken by a person who has confidence in himself and his skill.
No two situations will be exactly alike. Differences in size and temperament of the individuals concerned, light, terrain and other circumstances surrounding the scene of action will cause variations in when and where to initiate a disarming action. It is entirely up to the man with his hands in the air to decide when disarming shall be started.
Some techniques call for a person to initiate a disarming action at the very instant that he is told to put his hands in the air. Such methods advocate disarming with the hands down at the sides. Although there are a few men who might have the skill and the instant reflexes necessary to do this successfully, it is not for the average man to attempt to disarm a man with a loaded weapon in this manner, or at this time. It is much too dangerous and demands an excessive amount of practice in order to achieve only a fair chance of success.
Other disarming tactics are presented with the idea that, if the gunman is armed with a certain type weapon, a specific disarming method must be used. It is easy to see that to recommend the use of a different technique for each of the various types of weapons soon ends in endless complications and results in confusion to the person who is expected to go out and actually to disarm a dangerous man. For example, a double action revolver that is not cocked can be immobilized by grasping the cylinder and preventing it from turning. This technique is all right when used in conjunction with another disarming method, but should not alone be depended upon against a dangerous gunman. Likewise, a .45 cal. automatic can sometimes be immobilized by pressing the hand or stomach against the muzzle so that the slide is pushed back; but again, none but the most foolhardy would attempt this in an actual situation. Not only is the element of chance too great in depending on this type of disarming, but poor light, heavy clothing, gloves, and such would prevent success. A simple disarming technique that can be used against all weapons in all normal situations is much to be preferred.
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