What is a Challenge.
Although this is a very basic concept that is taught in the early stages of defensive handgun there seems to be a lot of confusion as to its purpose and relevance. Many people have told me that they will just wait until something escalates so their only option is to fire. It is my belief that it’s better to de-escalate the situation, if that’s possible, then to hurt or kill somebody.
Here is a good example of why de-escalation should be a component of your training. A 13 year-old boy is on the sidewalk next to your house. Your four-year-old daughter is playing on the grass and you notice something in the young boys hand. It appears to be a firearm and he is slowly moving closer to your child. It doesn’t appear to be a toy but you’re unsure so you become concerned for your daughters safety. The boy begins to raise the weapon up in her direction so you draw your weapon in response. You are left with two choices, do you shoot the young boy or do you challenge him to drop the weapon.
DISCLAIMER: no legal opinions are given here only tools that you can use during encounters where a firearm is used for self defense. Check your state law for clarification on the use of firearms for self-defense and what constitutes lawful use in a situation where lethal force is likely to occur.