Most Defensive Situations Occur Within the Length of a Parking Space

Parking Lot

I’ve heard it said that most situations where a person has to physically defend him or herself occur within a very confined space. The distance is usually about 10 to 15 feet, or the length of a parking space.


For those who carry, this has some implications. Here are a few:

Reaction Time

There’s not much time to think. Reactions need to be automatic as a result of practice. Repeatedly training how you will draw, move and fire will begin to develop muscle memory, but make sure you practice with an unloaded weapon.

It may be necessary to ward off a blow with the off hand while snapping off a quick one-hander with your pistol hand. A perfect first shot is probably not going to be an option.


The tiny pistols associated with small calibers are the easiest to conceal. They also lose critical velocity the farther out you get. Up close may be a different story. My little .380 can get almost 10 inches of penetration at point blank range. That’s plenty to hit the vitals.

Show Strength

A strong, decisive action may quickly resolve the crisis. Predators are looking for easy prey. If they find out you are armed, they may just turn tail and run.


Stay out of trouble in the first place.  It is a good idea to avoid dangerous situations where you could be cornered. Keep your eyes peeled to keep yourself out of likely areas.
A little planning doesn’t hurt anyone (except maybe the attacker). Putting a little thought into when, how and where you are most likely to be attacked may make all the difference in the world.

Just watch out for those parking spaces.


Are you prepared to react if assaulted by someone up close?

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  1. Ken Horm says:

    If I did carry all the time, Yes. But since I don’t, I have to rely on my size to help deter problems.

    • Thanks Ken. It’s good to hear from you. Thanks for the support. You’re right, not looking like easy prey is a good deterrent.

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