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Put Your Gun Away!

There is usually a question asked in many (if not most) CCW classes with citizens which goes something like this - "What do I do with my pistol after the shoot? Do I keep the gun in my hand? Do I put it away? Do I put it on the ground?"

The default response is always "It Depends."  If you see a deadly threat, have your gun out and do what needs to be done.  If the threat is gone, walking around with your gun is as pointless and counterproductive as it gets.  Think about the worst case scenario of a 911 call for "shots fired."  That rookie officer, first week off FTO, zero experience of dealing with these types of high stress situations may arrive and see you, the good guy with a gun, but in that moment all he sees is a firearm being held by a person he just got a priority call for.  Put your gun away when you do not need to use it, make sure you scan, make sure your gun is reloaded, do whatever you have time to do but do not walk around with a gun in your hand.  Why?  That is simple.  The LEO responding may not have the training, the mental capacity which is completely flooded with various natural chemicals nor the confidence to let a situation play out before shooting the person with a gun in their hand.  Do you think this will not happen or does not happen?  It does, often unfortunately.  

A black St. Louis police officer, who was off duty when he heard a commotion near his home and tried to help fellow officers arrest three black suspects, was shot by a white officer who did not recognize him, police said.
A white officer who had just arrived on the scene of a suspected crime Wednesday night saw the off-duty black officer walking toward other officers and shot the officer in the arm "fearing for his safety," a police statement said.
The wounded officer, who is 38 years old and has been with the department 11 years, was taken to a hospital and later released.
The incident began with a report of a stolen vehicle. Police followed the vehicle and the suspects inside opened fire at officers' vehicles until they crashed the vehicle believed to be stolen. The suspects got out of their vehicle and ran.
The off-duty officer heard the commotion from his home nearby and rushed to the scene with his department-issued weapon. Two officers ordered the off-duty officer to the ground, but then recognized him and told him to stand up and walk toward them. As he was doing so, another officer arrived and shot the off-duty officer "apparently not recognizing" him, police said.
The officer who shot the off-duty officer is 36 years old and has been with the department more than eight years.

Once you remove the completely irrelevant information about the race of either officers, you will quickly believe that the responding officer did the wrong thing.  He did, to a degree, but the off duty officer who was walking around with a firearm in his hand, especially when there were two uniformed officers on scene already was completely in the wrong.  Unless there was a clear and present deadly force threat which required that officer to deploy his pistol he should not have had it in his hand.  At all.  Him walking around with a pistol in his hand caused this to occur.  If it had been holstered or, while in off duty (non-uniformed) capacity, concealed then this would never have occurred.  The issue is also that the responding officer did not let the situation play out properly.  The officer shot shot the off duty officer was wrong, he did not thoroughly think through this situation.  Also, given the context here, a person with a pistol in hand walking up to two other uniformed officers will make any responding officer consider an immediate threat.  

Imagine this same situation but it is not an off duty officer, but you, and you just defended yourself against someone who trying to kill you, only to be shot by a responding officer because you were holding your gun in your hand.  Train to put it away, train to do so slowly and deliberately after the threat is overcome.  

Act.  Scan. Assess.  Move. (...and reholster when tactically possible.)