Dear Mr. Bucy,
I wanted to write and describe a situation where everything my wife, Ms. Jones, and I learned in your Security Defense Solutions Basic Pistol and Personal Defense course prevented what could have been a horrible outcome of a situation that I was forced to handle.
Let me begin by describing a little about us. We love and train just about any kind of animal – horses, dogs, etc. We have an older adopted dog that was a stray. Two years ago we rescued a beagle puppy that someone had dumped along the side of the road, placed it into a loving home and now lives like royalty. Several months ago, I picked up another puppy that somebody had dumped and was seconds away from getting run over. Our new puppy is very loved by our other dog, as well as us and all of the visitors to our place.
Here is the environment where the situation occurred:
We have a farm where we board horses, and have customers that come to our place frequently. From our kitchen, we have a good view of a back pasture to the west and horse barn to the south.
Self Defense Situation:
While at dinner, we were watching one of our customers tending to a horse, when we witnessed a large pit bull emerging at a brisk clip from behind our barn. It took very little time to realize what these dogs were. From knowing about dog fighting we realized these were probably fighting dogs that had been dumped. I know of the horrible inhumane and tortuous treatment that these dogs endure for the sick pleasure of their human waste handlers, and I knew this was a dangerous situation and had to act immediately. Ms. Jones jumped up and ran to get our puppy off a tie down line. After stepping outside and helping Ms. Jones we quickly realized that this dog had NO fear of anyone or anything – it was in a hungry condition, and had fighting scars on its ears and body. As the dog approached I obtained my Glock 19 which was pre loaded with 12 self defense rounds. By this time the pit bull was frantically going from person to person. We have spent years training animals, and we could sense a focused, assertive/excited energy from the dog. We knew that it was extremely important to maintain composure and not exhibit fear that the pit bull would see as a weakness. We also could not run, and we could not strike out at the dog, either action could have elicited a negative response. We maintained an assertive posture and energy without directly threatening the dog (stare at its eyes, etc). As Ms. Jones retreated to the garage the pit bull followed, began trailing our small puppy on a leash – I was expecting at any moment the dog to kill our puppy or attack one of us, since many times the criminals who torture pit bulls also use ‘bait’ dogs (many times house hold family pets stolen from back yards), for the pits to kill and learn fighting aggression.
Ms. Jones made a brave, timed judgment call and scooped the puppy up off the floor out of harm’s way. At the same time I realized that anytime any of us could be attacked and I slipped on long boots just in case my legs were bitten. As soon as the 2nd boot was on I put the first bullet in the chamber.
Fortunately the pit bull disengaged pursuit of our puppy and followed me outside of the garage at which Ms. Jones closed the garage door and secured the puppy in a crate. At the same time I instructed our guests to retreat with our older dog into our barn and close the doors. As I was keeping an eye on the pit bull and trying to get him away from the others, I noticed a second pit bull approaching from the other side of the barn. Ms. Jones by now had informed me that animal control could not be reached – there was no help coming, there was nobody else, and no more time. As I looked back toward the barn, the others were retreating into the barn followed by our older dog – just as the older dog entered the barn; the other pit bull was rapidly approaching the barn door. One of our guests put up her boot in front of the dog to break its train of thought and close the door.
I knew now that all humans and resident dogs were secured, exactly where they were in relation to me, and I could focus my entire concentration on the two threats. The first pit bull re- focused my way and started trotting to me and would not stop tracking. I zigzagged backwards, trying to see if he was focused on me. His behavior demonstrated he was not going to leave, and he was now following me. My first desire was to have them leave the property, but that was not going to happen.
I realized I had to dispatch this dog for my safety, as well as the other humans and animals farm. As the dog rapidly approached, I put myself between the pit and a neighbor’s house and setup a self defense shot that was in a safe direction. I knew I could not run or else I might have been pursued. If I kicked he might view that as a challenge and attack my leg. I raised the gun and fired two times into the head, followed by a third carefully placed shot to the head out of respect for the dog, so that he would not suffer. I was then able to setup a similar shot and dispatched the other dog.
With no other threats in site, I dropped the magazine, and ejected the bullet in the chamber for safety. I put the bullet back into the magazine and then put the magazine back into the pistol. This way I knew the pistol was secured, but ready in case another unexpected threat appeared. I informed all the people on my place and our neighbors that all was clear. As I approached the neighbor’s house, my decision to dispatch the dogs was reaffirmed as I noticed a toddler looking out the door, and realized that the toddler could have soon been in harm’s way with horrible consequences if I had failed to act.
Mr. Bucy, during this incident I used EVERY piece of knowledge I learned in your class:
(1) Situation awareness – learning to identify, and asses a dangerous situation.
(2) There may be more than the one threat than the one you are focused on – do not position
yourself in a situation to be taken by a second unseen attacker.
(3) Stay as calm as possible – Even though I made a conscious effort to main calm, my adrenaline was rushing as the danger of the situation escalated.
(4) In intense situations, you will not be operating with the same refinement as when one is calm.
(5) Know your surroundings –Where can I escape? Where are your loved ones? Where are innocent by standers? If you are forced to shoot, could the bullet follow a safe trajectory that would not injure others?
(6) Self defense shooting occurs at a very close range as you are face to face with the threat, and
can be very intense.
(7) Proper handling of the gun, with proper positioning of the trigger finger OFF of the trigger and along the trigger guard until ready to fire is essential.
(8) Know how many rounds you started with, how many shots you fired, is there a bullet in the chamber, and how many bullets you have left.
The simulations that we participated in were almost identical to this live situation. Even though the situation was stressful, everything from our training instantly came back, and I was able to rely on training, instead of having a gun and hoping things would turn out. I did not need hope – I needed a plan.
I have always encouraged everybody that owns any kind of firearms, the NEED to take basic courses, as well as refresher practice from time to time. Not knowing how to properly use a firearm in a real life situation could end up more tragic than if one did not even have a gun.
In closing, I would like to say these pit bulls were not born this way. They were made to be this way. They lived horrible lives, tortured at the hands of the most despicable of human filth that are rotten and evil to the very core of their soul.
Pit bulls, as well as other breeds that have a bad reputation, can make gentle and loving companions. Poodles and Chihuahuas can be made to identically fight like this; it is just the pit bulls strength makes bad behavior dangerous versus “annoying”. The bad reputation is not because of the breed, it is because of bad people.
As with firearms training, I would recommend that those who have compassion for these animals and adopts one, to partner with caring professionals that will teach the owner how to teach the dog, and to help the owners along the way as they progress in the relationship with their best friend. These dogs require and deserve proper love, training, care, and respect, and are not the dog for everybody. I would trust a properly trained pit bull (with professional assistance) that has come from responsible breeders with any of my animals and children. I know if I were ever bodily attacked, the attackers would not be fighting one, but two – and my loyal friend whose strength far surpasses that of humans, would be ready to fight to the death while defending his family.
As for the dogs in my story, I did not want this outcome, and was a very sad for them. If it would have been possible to communicate with them, I would have told them how sorry I was that they had to endure these horrible things, and how sorry I was that I had to do the things I was about to do . And as for the people who did this to these dogs, and who put my own life, my family’s, my neighbors, and my friend’s in danger, may their souls rot and burn in hell.
United States citizens need to realize our founders fought for and provided us great freedom, and that this liberty came at the price of many people’s lives.
The second amendment provides us with one of those freedoms: the right to keep and bear arms. It is the duty of every law abiding citizen who owns any kind of fire arms to obtain the proper training required to operate those guns. The dogs in this account were not the problem; it was evil people that were the problem. In like manner, guns are not the problem; it is evil people who are the problem.
George Bernard Shaw stated, “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” Without responsibility, we will lose our freedoms.
It is important to always be prepared. We never know where the next threat will come from, and what form that threat will be. With proper training, and practice, one will have the tools to drastically increase the odds of a favorable outcome.
We should live life each day to its fullest, not living in fear, but enjoying life with confidence and in peace – helping others in need with compassion – whether they are human, or one Earth’s many beautiful creatures.