While guns and knives are important survival supplies, especially when surviving in the wilderness, it is important to remember that they are deadly tools in the hands of an assailant. Survival means doing what it takes to stay alive. In order to explore every aspect of survival, you need to be knowledgeable about the potential dangers other people can pose.
What is the 21 Foot Rule?
Dennis Tuller wrote an article in 1983 about the range of someone wielding a knife. It was published in a law enforcement journal, standardizing the 21 foot rule.
If you are carrying a holstered sidearm and an assailant is within 21 feet of you, you are in an effective zone of danger. This means the person trying to do you bodily harm can do so if they are within that distance. After thorough scientific research, the conclusion was that it would take you too long to draw your weapon, and in the time it would take to draw, aim, and fire, the assailant would be able to strike you.
Why is it Important?
Now, police academies nationwide use this rule, running drills to simulate it happening in real life. It is also used in making arrests to keep criminals at a safe distance. While many have taken the rule quite literally, there are three more relevant lessons that it aims to teach.
People Are Fast
In 1.5 seconds, a person can close a 21 foot gap. In that time, you can't even get a shot off. Don't underestimate human agility.
Situational Awareness Is Key
Being observant and constantly vigilant in your surrounding no matter where you are is a lesson for life and an exercise in disaster preparedness.
Guns Are Fallible
No matter how many calibers you're packing, guns are one of the survival supplies that take a lot of practice to use well.
So, the 21-foot rule is pretty important, just not for the exact reasons it's being used today. A gun is one of the best pieces of survival gear to have in your emergency kit, but before you try defending yourself with it, you must practice. Practice not only with the gun but with your situational awareness survival skills every day.