Part of your training in carrying a firearm for self-defense should include the possibility that you’ll be caught by surprise and faced with an opponent who already has their gun drawn and pointed at you. This all happens before you have the chance to draw yours.
Realistically, this is a situation with a small chance of success and very few ways to do anything to improve your odds.
Unfortunately, there is a chance it could happen and you should make an effort to understand the dynamics at play.
You should practice different responses so you have some skills at your disposal and don’t go down without a fight.
Generally speaking, if you are in a situation where a gun is drawn on you, then you might have failed regarding situational awareness.
It is possible to be surprised even when you are situationally aware, but it’s much more it’s far more difficult for a person who’s been paying attention to be unpleasantly surprised.
The issue with trying to access your firearm when one is already pointed at you leaves you with few options. The ticking of the clock is not on your side here. In the few seconds it takes you to draw, aim, and fire your weapon, the other person can already fire several rounds into you.
Author Gabe Suarez tested this very situation out with a “bad” guy aiming an airsoft pistol at an armed “good” guy who had to draw and fire while having a gun aimed at them. He describes the results of the experiment in his article “Outdrawing the Drawn Pistol” on USConcealedcarry.com
“Every good guy got shot. A few managed to get shot peripherally, rather than in the center of the body, but nonetheless, they got shot. If they stood still to draw, they got shot immediately. The best results were achieved by moving off-line and sharply to the adversary’s outside line (the 1:00 o’clock or 11:00 o’clock) while drawing.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
Gabe also mentioned that trying to run away often results in the fleeing person being shot in the back. Unfortunately, if you are facing a drawn weapon, your options are severely limited. Escaping this type of situation unharmed will often come down to how you respond and what the attacker is looking for, not to mention a little luck.
For example, if all the attacker is looking to do is rob you, then your best option by far is to slowly and carefully remove your wallet or purse and throw it between the two of you. Hopefully this will be what they want and allow you to escape the scene unharmed. A few dollars and a driver’s license aren’t worth anyone’s life or health.
However, if you’re certain that this person intends to kill you, and then you may decide to take the 3 to 1 odds that Gabe Suarez mentions in his article and go down shooting.
No two situations are alike and the result can come down to your ability to rapidly assess matters and make the best decision for the specific events facing you.