Threat Assessment…

The scene is set….the cowboy slowly creeps into town on his trusty steed.  He has a date with destiny and he knows that it will be a tough road ahead.  He was called out by the toughest outlaw in town and now he has to face the music.  He knows that the villain runs with a mean posse and that once he gets past the sheriffs’ office, the threats he will face will come from many different places.  He’s got to be on his guard.

Similarly to this episode and those played out in the Wild West on the big screen, real life defensive situations also require that responsible armed citizens progress through a threat assessment process.  At PSA we teach this through 5 basic steps.


When confronted with a defensive situation, responsible armed citizens should make sure to address all Known Threats first.

  • Make sure the primary threat is neutralized.  The first threat to be assessed is the individual(s) that caused the shooter to initially draw their defensive weapon.  We deem this person as the “primary threat,” and can be considered as the most important.  Once the initial threat has been discovered and attended to, the shooter may stop firing.  This does not mean the primary threat can now be ignored. 
  • At this point shooters should always ensure that the original perpetrators are out of any further aggressive options.  Scan the immediate area and assure yourself that this bugger is out of life-threatening choices.  At an immediate response you should be able to resume effective defensive firing if the perpetrator resumes any aggressive behaviors.

Once the armed citizen is sure that all known threats have been attended to, the threat scan should proceed to any and all Unknown Threats.  

  • Ensuring to maintain a watchful eye on the primary threat, the shooter should now make a conscious 180° scan of their immediate area.  Shooters should make sure to “keep their head on a swivel.”  This entails scanning from left to right (or vice versa) continuously until help is able to arrive.
  • After the initial 180° scan is completed, shooters should then scan their six (the area behind them).  Checking behind you will make sure that you aren’t blindsided from an assailant that is trying to sneak up behind you.
  • After ensuring that no threats exist behind you, the immediate 180° area is clear, and the primary threat is neutralized, shooters should now scan any windows or doors that are close by.  In a defensive situation, perpetrators may flee the immediate scene in order to get a better vantage point on their victim, so it is crucial that proper attention is given to any doors and windows in the immediate area.

If you are ever involved in a defensive situation things have probably gotten worse than you’ve ever expected them to.  Making sure that you continuously scan for threats is imperative for surviving such hectic times.  There is no guarantee that help will be there in a short time frame, so diligence will undoubtedly pay off.

***  If you are unfamiliar with firearms and/or their accessories, and want to learn more, PSA strongly suggests that you find, enroll, and attend a comprehensive and reputable firearms safety course.  Firearms safety is all of OUR responsibility.  

We want to thank you for taking out the time to stop by our lane at the shooting range!!  We hope that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you stop back by early and often to catch up on all PSA updates!  We truly hope that we were able to hit the target, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to shoot them our way!!  We look forward to shooting the breeze with you soon again!!

And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low!!!

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