Protecting Your Loved Ones: Creating a Plan for Threats You May Face in Public - ITS Tactical
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Protecting Your Loved Ones: Creating a Plan for Threats You May Face in Public

By Jeff Gonzales


The subject of concealed carry has become increasingly popular and rightfully so; living in this day and age seems to be riskier than any other time we’ve all known. While part of carrying concealed is for the protection of your person, it’s also your family. However, the latter may be more challenging than you think.

That Awkward Conversation

The first thing to do before you get carried away with anything is to brainstorm what you’d do if you were presented with danger in public or within your home. Dangers in the home have more to do with what happens when your force protection measures fail and that’s a subject for a different time. Today we’ll be focusing more on public scenarios; things like shopping, eating and driving.

Each of these scenarios represents a slightly different situation. I used these to merely give you examples of the actions. For instance, shopping has to do with moving in a group, eating has to do with sitting down as a group and driving has to do with being in a vehicle as a group. Each of these has unique challenges and ideally their own set of tactics, techniques and procedures.

Get Them Off the X


When we’re out and about on foot, like walking into a mall or restaurant, we’re in a somewhat vulnerable position. The “gaggle,” as I like to call it, is more concerned with not getting run over than getting mugged. However, the same situational awareness applies to the criminal element.

One of the challenges I mentioned earlier is whether you’re alone or with your significant other. Assuming your family may be separated at times in the performance of these activities, how you’ll handle them (alone and together) needs to be discussed. Let’s assume for the sake of this article you’re together.

There needs to be a code word used during the initial engagement of a threat, to signal the other adult to grab the children and move to a predetermined rally point. It’s at this point things are the most dangerous and this call will have been made because the family members believe the situation could escalate to deadly force.

Stay Focused On the Problem


Sitting down to eat as a family in a public restaurant probably puts you in the most vulnerable state, as mobility is severely limited in the initial stages of the engagement. Having the presence of mind to choose to sit in a more strategic locations, or close to an exit, isn’t always possible in busy restaurants. However, you should still know where a secondary exit is, in addition to the one you passed through.

The situation may also deescalate so fast that you won’t have time to execute a movement to separate yourself from your family, thus needing to draw your firearm from a seated position. In this instance, there needs to be an understanding as a family that if this should happen, they should all immediately get small or as low as they can given the seating arrangement.

You may have to shoot over your loved ones, so the smaller they get, the safer they may be during this stage. Should you physically try to guard them with your body? I think in most situations, it won’t be a hard and fast answer due to the seating. It’s better to establish procedures and rely on your spouse to control the children, allowing you to focus on the problem at hand.

The Law of Gross Tonnage


The last situation involves being inside a vehicle and is probably the most advantageous, as the steering wheel allows you to move the entire family, rather than having to move them independently. You’re all one big unit. Following standard procedures for securing the doors and keeping the windows up will ensure you have a barrier. However fragile this barrier may be, it’s still a barrier.

Then, keeping an appropriate distance behind the vehicle in front of you allows you maneuvering options. Reconsider what drivable terrain really is and don’t be afraid to jump a curb, or drive on the shoulder to escape a situation. If someone jumps in front of your vehicle and you feel your life, or the lives of your family are in danger, use the vehicle to get out of there post haste. If you find yourself in this type of situation, the law of gross tonnage is an ally.

Moving people out of the way to allow you to escape, provides them the opportunity to move out of your way as you’re advancing forward into them. Given some recent events, stopping your vehicle and allowing a mob to form around you is now considered high risk. Taking steps to avoid this situation is now becoming more reasonable.

There are many ways to deal with these types of situations and these are just a few that I’ve logically laid out to get you started. The first step tough, is communicating with your spouse and coming up with a plan.

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Jeff Gonzales was a decorated and respected US Navy SEAL, serving as an operator and trainer who participated in numerous combat operations throughout the world. He now uses his modern warfare expertise as President of Trident Concepts, LLC., a battle proven company specializing in weapons, tactics and techniques to meet the evolving threat. Bringing the same high-intensity mindset, operational success and lessons learned from NSW to their training programs, TRICON has been recognized as an industry leader by various federal, state and local units. Organizations interested in training with TRICON can call 928-925-7038 or visit for more info.

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